When I was in 7th grade, some of the parents from my school worked together to get a computer terminal on campus. Back then, computers seemed like foreign objects to a lot of people, but the faculty had a feeling they were going to be important. A few people at school told me about the machine and said, “Maybe you can figure this crazy thing out.” That was the beginning of my lifelong love affair with software.
Many students aren’t so lucky. Teachers across the country are struggling to give their classes great tools for learning. I hear it from teachers whenever I visit a school. Some classrooms need computers, but others need more basic things: textbooks, building blocks, art supplies, even just a rug big enough for the whole class to sit on.
And with school starting up, this is an especially important time. Teachers have enough things to worry about right now. Getting the right supplies shouldn’t be one of them.
Melinda and I are big fans of DonorsChoose.org, a program that makes it easy for teachers to connect with potential donors. Teachers can post projects that need funding, and donors can search for projects by school, subject, grade, and so on. You can give to your local school, or one across the country.
To make it easy for everyone to support teachers via DonorsChoose.org, our foundation will meet donors halfway. From August 22 through August 24, nearly every project on the site will be half off. For example, if a $500 project gets $250 in donations in that time, we will match that with another $250 and fully fund the project. (We will match up to a total of $1 million.) You can search for a project now—there are thousands to choose from.
Melinda and I are excited to be able to help teachers across the country get the things they need to help their students excel. We hope you’ll join us. When teachers and students have the right tools, there’s no telling where it will take them.