A friend shared this fascinating TED talk, in which Michael Norton proposes that contrary to popular belief, we CAN buy happiness… if we spend on others rather than ourselves, that is!
Michael’s talk really struck a chord with us since we recently had the opportunity to help fund several early childhood education projects through Donors Choose (which is coincidentally highlighted at the end of Michael’s talk). In case you’re not familiar with the organization, Donors Choose is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need by facilitating donations to classroom and school projects. Educators post their projects and costs and anyone can make a contribution.
The three projects to which we contributed represent different facets of early learning that we are passionate about.
The Gift of Sound
At P.S. 305 in Brooklyn, NY, a lack of functional headphones meant PK – 2 students attempting to concentrate on interactive reading and math programs were often distracted by the sounds coming from the other computers in the lab. We recognize that technology has a powerful potential to engage students in the classroom but how fully that potential is realized depends on a lot of factors. Sometimes, it’s as straightforward as providing headphones for students. We’re thrilled to be able to support Ms. Grant and her students by helping to fund her project, “The Gift of Sound.”
Help My Students Learn to Read
Mrs. E, a reading specialist at the Shady Spring Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, needed better materials to help students in the different classrooms she visits work on building their literacy skills. We firmly believe in the value of using differentiated instruction to ensure that each student receives the learning support he or she needs. Reading specialists like Mrs. E play critical roles in the process, which is why we’re happy to be able to support her and her students by helping to fund her project, “Help My Students Learn to Read.”
Mighty Math Power
In Batesville, MS, Mrs. Faulkner hopes to purchase computer-based programs to make learning math more exciting for her second grade students at the Batesville Intermediate School. As with the projects above, we can appreciate how technology can help benefit her students by making learning more interactive and making it easier to target instruction to build skills in math as well as literacy. We’re excited to support Mrs. Faulkner and her students by helping to fund her project, “Mighty Math Power.”
All students deserve to have the basic resources they need to be successful. These three projects caught our eye at Donors Choose, but there are so many other incredibly deserving projects as well. We wish we could give to all of them but are happy we could at least give to a few for the time being.
From our own experience of making these donations, we can definitely support Michael Norton’s suggestion that it IS possible to make yourself happier by giving to others. We encourage you to try it for yourself or to set up a project if you serve students in need.