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First 5 LA and DonorsChoose.org Double Your Impact

08.13.2012 | First 5 LA

The photographs say it all: Little eyes focused on colorful picture books, arms in the air as they sing along with their teacher and small hands eagerly turning the pages of a great story. These are the photos shared on the DonorsChoose website by pre-K teacher Mrs. H, whose class was given books, storytelling activity kits and CD’s through First 5 LA’s Double Your Impact matching grant partnership on DonorsChoose.org.

Last year, 307 projects in public Los Angeles County early education classrooms like this were funded with the help of First 5 LA matching grants. In total, more than $106,700 was spent, reaching more than 10,700 students.

First 5 LA is continuing its four-year partnership with DonorsChoose.org and is offering a new round of Double Your Impact funds to preschool, pre-K and transitional kindergarten public school teachers in L.A. County. Teachers may post up to two projects anytime during the 2012-2013 school year, but the offer will only be available until the entire $112,500 in funds allocated to the program are awarded. Donors who visit DonorsChoose.org will fund the first half of the project, and First 5 LA will fund the rest.

Like many of the classrooms that received donations through last year’s Double Your Impact program, Mrs. H’s students come mostly from low-income families that don’t speak English at home. But, despite their challenges, they are also curious, eager and smart and wanting to learn and make new discoveries, she wrote on her DonorsChoose.org project page.

“My classroom library came to life with the beautifully illustrated big book kits. All the students were eager and excited to see and use their new books with the amazing props,” Mrs. H wrote. “Some students were pretending to be me and read to their classmates. Others were looking at the pictures and making up their own stories. What touched me the most is that every child wanted to read a book and use the props.”

From readers, math books and computers to sports equipment and dress-up clothes to art supplies and furniture – there are many items that can enhance the early learning environment in a big way. Most of the projects funded by Double Your Impact cost only a few hundred dollars.

Teachers who want to post projects and donors who want to fund them should visit www.DonorsChoose.org or download a .pdf information flier by clicking here.

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