Category: Donors Choose

Donors Choose

IMG_5130We just had ANOTHER Donor’s Choose project get funded and I wanted to say THANK YOU!  I know several of my readers on here have contributed to the MANY projects we have done and I have to say thank you.  US Cellular’s Calling All Teachers finished the rest of our iPad mini which arrived last week and we have already been able to use the iPads more now that we have 2.  The kiddos are able to use them in pairs to help themselves with some of the word work in group.

I want to do digital writing (based off of Troy Hick’s book Creating Digital Writing: Composing Texts across Media and Genres) and we are looking to add another iPad.  If you want to donate we would LOVE any extra support we could get.  You can find our project here:  and until 10/18/14 if you enter code SPARK you can double your donation for us.

Thank you for supporting my school.  Lowell has the HIGHEST dollar amount donated in the entire school district and that’s thanks to many generous donors.

In the last year here is what you have helped Ms. Acuff’s class get…

  • ipad mini $566.00
  • mobile writing $259.00
  • supplies $165.00
  • laptop $407.00
  • furniture $205.00
  • ipad $805.00
  • 5 Kindles $603.00

For a grand total of: $3,010.00 worth of materials to enhance our learning.  THANK YOU!


I have one final Donors Choose project for the school year that will expire on June 2nd.  We have $185 left to go in our project and would love if you could help us cross the finish line before the end of the school year.  We’ve done close to half of our fundraising so we don’t want to lose out on the monies already donated.  (Donations are tax deductible 🙂 )

If you would like to donate even $1 please visit:

IMG_9291Our items from our Donors Choose project Breathe Life Into Our Supplies arrived.  We were ANXIOUSLY awaiting our items.  Our project was funded right before Thanksgiving, but DC puts a hold on items the week before Thanksgiving until after Christmas break so items don’t get lost during breaks.  We didn’t get our items until about 2 months later, but it was a nice gift to receive after the holidays.

A very special thank you to the following donors:

  • Erin Rosburg
  • Lynn Booth
  • Katie Corker
  • Celebrate Schools matching donations
  • Arianne, Peter, Ella, and Jackson from Washington DC

IMG_9557The kids are LOVING the white board table dots.  We are using them for EVERYTHING.  We take notes on them, do word work on them and it’s been a nice “boundary” for students as the boards don’t move around so they don’t slide over into their neighbor’s space.  Students have been excited for new white board markers that have erasers on them.  I no longer hear, “Ms. Acuff, my marker doesn’t work.” (Which I greatly appreciate as well!)

The new book bags have been a big hit and I’ve been able to send more books back with the kids as they have backs to actually keep the bags protected.

Also, I am LOVING the dry erase pockets.  Several of my colleagues have gotten the pockets since they’ve been how we’ve been using them.  My Kdg kiddos are using it as ways to practice letter formation and work on spelling their names correctly.  My 1st and 2nd graders are using them as a writing checklist to make sure they haven’t forgotten anything in their writing.  It’s nice for me to be able to slip new papers in and out as needed without wasting paper or having to laminate everything.

I had to say good-bye to my 4th graders as they all made such wonderful progress that they are all on grade level (yay!)  We were lucky enough to have a generous donation of 5 Kindles to my room, which has definitely made learning more fun and engaging.  I sat the kids down on our last day and had them tell me about how the Kindles have impacted their learning over these last 3 months.  Please enjoy!

Caroline ComputerToday a very fun package arrived at Lowell: our new laptop!  One of my 1st graders was able to open the box and be the first to look at it.  The kids in Ms. Acuff’s room would like to send out a giant THANK YOU to everyone who donated to our Donor’s Choose project to help us get a lap top.  As many of you know, Lowell is so amazing that we just keep growing and growing.  We’re proud of all the word we’re doing in this school.  In fact, Lowell is the first school in the district history to meet ALL 5 AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) GOALS FOR NCLB IOWA ASSESSMENTS!!!!  Isn’t that amazing?

But since we’ve been growing we’ve needed more space and unfortunately we just don’t have the space. This year we lost our computer lab to make room for additional staff in our building.  Lowell no longer has a computer lab and the laptops were distributed to the classroom teachers.  Since I am not a classroom teacher, I did not get a student lap top.  Last year I let the kids go to the computer lab to type up final copies of stories they wrote.  This year it wasn’t an option with our Caroline Computer 2computer lab no longer available.  I wrote a Donors Choose project so my kiddos could have their own laptop to use while in my classroom.  So many people were generous and donated to us.

Thank you to:

  • Gretchen Peterson-Kobriger
  • Leanna Frericks
  • Erin Rosburg
  • US Cellular
  • Yellow Chair Foundation
  • Doonsebury matching donation

We are excited to be able to use the laptop to type up some of our stories and also as research.  My 4th and 5th graders have been using the iPad for a dictionary and thesaurus and now they’ll have access to the laptop for this work as well.

IMG_8461Also, a thank you to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier for recognizing the projects in the paper.  We were REALLY excited to see our project had been posted in the paper.  It means so much to have support from so many people.

If you’d like to help our current project please visit:

We are badly in need of some new supplies to help us in the classroom.  We have loved our supplies to the point where we need some new materials.  If you feel inspired to help us, we’d be thankful!

IMG_8400We had another Donor’s Choose project fulfilled within the last month and our items are just not starting to finish arriving after being back ordered and then needing to be replaced.

IMG_8401Ms. Acuff’s class wants to thank…

  • Dr. Jim and Jody Mueller
  • Nicole Earle
  • The Yellow Chair Foundation

Thank you for donating money for us to have comfortable furniture to read in AND for donating money for us to have books to read in those comfortable places.

We’ve had to learn some very good skills on how to share and take turns since all of the items to use are hot commodities in my room, but we are extremely blessed and spoiled to have such a wonderfully cozy place to call ours and work to become better readers.

IMG_8402Students have been very eager to get reading since the furniture has come.  It’s much more fun to curl up with a book when you aren’t sitting in the hard, plastic, blue chairs we sit on when we first come to class.

One of my 1st graders got to open the box with the big red rocker and the box was nearly as big as he was. (Photo to left).  It was exciting to get to open up new things.  We’ve had several days which have felt like an early Christmas gift.

IMG_8404So again I want to thank everyone everyone who has donated to this project and to our other projects to help inspire literacy learning to be much more fun and comfortable.  So many opportunities have been opened up to us because of the gracious gifts we keep getting.

IMG_8391And as I close we need to say a little RIP to the yoga ball.  The yoga ball has faithfully served Ms. Acuff’s room for the last 5 years and yesterday it finally breathed its last breath.  The kids were very sad, so it’s a good thing the red rocker arrived today.  The rocker will be a nice new addition to our room in lieu of the yoga ball.

We do have a current project posted on Donors Choose for us to get some new writing supplies for small group instruction and also some new take home book bags so the kids can take books home to read and practice with their families.  Our current book bags are ripped and falling apart after over 5 years of use and being held together with duct tape.  If you want to help us with our newest project please visit our link: (Enter code MALL20 to match up to $20 or INSPIRE to match up to $100–code INSPIRE only will work for our project until Friday, October 18th.  After that please use match code MALL20.)

IMG_8145Doesn’t that picture at the top just say it all?  These faces shout joy and excitement!  One of my goals has always been to make reading more fun and to stir up some passion for reading.  I think these Kindles are going to make it a lot easier to stir up passion for reading.

IMG_8148I have to give a very big thank you to Jim and Jody Mueller who fully funded 5 Kindles for my classroom. 

My 4th and 5th graders (and hopefully 3rd grade by the end of the year) will be using these most of the time for our group book.  This was a huge blessing and an extremely generous donation for my students.

I gave each student a box and then on the count of 3 they all got to open the boxes up together.  Some had never seen or touched a Kindle before.  I gave them about 5 minutes just to explore on the Kindle and get the feel for an eReader.

Comments like, “I’ve never seen anything so cool before,” “I can’t wait to start reading,” and “Is this really happening?” were IMG_8146happening the entire group session.  It was a very cool moment to be a part of.  Some of my kids were so excited to start reading that they did.  And so I just let them read for about 15 minutes before we needed to end the session.

This is an extremely exciting time for all the kids in Ms. Acuff’s class.  I am so appreciative and I look forward to posting more pictures of us working with the Kindles and to seeing great progress with the kids.  I have never IMG_8149seen such enthusiasm and it’s really exciting to be a part of.

So again, thank you Jim and Jody Mueller for the extremely wonderful gift of Kindles and for lighting a passion for reading in each of my kids.  You have made a huge difference in the lives of several young people.

IMG_8087The iPad arrived today and I just want to again thank the following people for their extremely generous donations:

  • John and Julie Nystrom
  • Nicole Britzman
  • Alison Britzman
  • Mark Britzman
  • Sharon Britzman
  • KIA Motors
  • Lynn Booth
  • Gretchen Webster
  • Patricia from New Jersey
  • Yellow Chair Foundation
  • Erin Rosburg

I saw some of the biggest smiles I have ever seen when I introduced the iPad to my students today.  Some had never even seen or touched an iPad today.  They couldn’t believe that they were actually going to get to use one.  In the photo above you can see one of my students working on letter formation.  I am looking forward to sharing more pictures as the year progresses.