I am urgently hoping to secure support for us to keep helping the massive influx of students and teachers that have come to us in the past few days to cope with the overnight scrambling of the education system.
We are a local (501c3) nonprofit that runs affordable civics educational activities for youth. We work with students between the ages of 10 and 21 on everything from public speaking and argumentative writing to economics and history in an effort to prepare them to be effective members of our democratic society.
Our resources are well-poised to support both teachers and students as they aim to find enrichment activities and resources online during this trying time, and as the rapidly unfolding situation continues, we are anticipating more, not less, need from our students and educators.
However, we need to raise money in order to keep our program affordable and provide extensive financial aid to families.
We’re currently running five key programs:
1. Online Course/Internship for College Students: This is an eight-week online program where students write editorial-style articles on current issues after going through a lesson on a key aspect of argumentative writing. All of their articles are published online which they can use to add to their resume. All the lessons and work is online and we do live video meet-ups, so everyone can get to know each other.
2. Digital Camp for Middle School Students: While we normally offer an in-person camp during the summer, this summer we have added (likely replaced) an online camp that includes video lectures, breakout sessions for group activities, and monitored and support individual work. This runs for two weeks in July.
3. Lesson Plans for Teachers : We have modified our materials to be used quickly and in any class at any point in the curriculum for history, English, social studies and civics teachers so they can use our material as a backup if the need arises. We also publish all the student work on our website.
4. Online In-Class Workshops/Guest Speakers: We are offering to host or visit any digital classroom and conduct any of the workshops we normally do so that teachers can mix up the day for their students and have a break from the online teaching! We even launched a special workshop on Pandemics and Global Health.
5. Videos/Lesson Plans: Our online interdisciplinary civics site was just getting launched and we are now getting requests for specific videos and lesson plans that both teachers and students independently want to use. We are trying to add as many as we can as fast as possible without sacrificing quality.
All of these programs require additional funding in order to provide each student with feedback on their writing, correspond with all the teachers and students, create new content, videos, and lesson plans, and maintain the online platforms necessary to keep all of this running.
None of the admin team (C-level officers) is compensated and every dollar raised goes directly to helping students maintain some normalcy during these times.
I understand that everyone is going through a difficult time, and if you are unable to donate at this time, we ask you to share our programs with anyone who might be interested.
We hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and in good spirits.
With gratitude and urgency,