Helping our teachers help our students: Sunshine Gardens Project

South San Francisco, CA   June 20, 2014  Sunshine gardens logo

Teaching is one of those professions that most people get into because of their love of learning, of teaching, and of kids. Back in the day the schools supported the teachers so they could spend all their time and attention focused on teaching.

Yet the cut backs we have witnessed in the past decade or two have left many of our teachers scrambling to find to0ls they need to help our kids learn.  Add to that our world has changed so much due to technology, and you can see why it is difficult for our teachers to keep up with it all. More often than not teachers are dipping into their own pockets to ensure our kids get what they need to make it in the world. And with inflation hitting us so tough, especially in the Bay Area, parents too are struggling to keep up with the prices of everything.

What is  disturbing is that South San Francisco, The Birthplace of Biotechnology and the home of major Life Science businesses, located in one of the most wealthiest places in the country, nay the world, has schools labeled ‘high poverty’. The saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is more true today than ever. And we are that village. And our teachers and our kids need us. And especially Ms. Seigel’s 3rd grade class at Sunshine Gardens Elementary.

This program,, is one tool our teachers turn to to help gain supplies needed for their classrooms.  The basic concept is this organization allows teachers from all over the US to post on their website projects they need to have funded. And then folks from all over are invited to help bring the projects to fruition with TAX DEDUCTIBLE donations. (Yep tax deductible!).

Currently one of our very dedicated teachers from Sunshine Elementary School is needing to realize a project for our kids to help them compete in the high tech world today. And tomorrow.

Ms. Sathya Seigel shares,

My students love our weekly visits the new computer lab. Many of them do not have access to computers at home. Flash drives will allow us to create meaningful projects when we visit the lab.

I teach in a Title I school, where the majority of the students are low income and English Learners. My students’ families work hard to support them, but they still lack many resources that other children have. My coworkers and I do our best to enrich our students’ school experience by providing as many extra resources as we can.

My Project; I’m very excited about introducing Common Core lessons to my students, but I need resources and curriculum to implement these new curricular shifts successfully.

Many of my students come to third grade without having mastered basic math skills. The Learning Wrap Ups will provide hands on math practice to get them ready for multiplication.

The new Common Core standards require third graders to be computer literate and master basic math facts. The materials in this project will support my class in developing 21st Century skills.

My students need flash drives to make full use of our visits to the computer lab and Learning Wrap-Ups plus skills books.

What Ms. Seigel is requesting for her students is pretty straight forward, and the cost is rather minimal in the scheme of all things.  The total price tag is only $1239.79 and to date only $169. has been raised leaving $1,070 to go.  The donation process is easy enough and if we all contribute a few $$ her goal can be reached.  A hero amongst us could fund the full project and help these kids get on their way.

HERE is the link for more information and HERE is the link for donations. And below is the list of items that need to be funded for this project to succeed. Please share this and let’s help our teacher help our kids. Here’s to our village! And SHOUTS OUT to Ms.Seigel!

Ms Seigals Sunshine Garden Project 6.2014Ms Seigals Sunshine Garden Project 6.2014Ms Seigals Sunshine


How does it work? is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.

When a project reaches its funding goal, we ship the materials to the school. You’ll get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give over $50 and you’ll also receive hand-written thank-yous from the students.

Is there a minimum donation?

You can give as little as $1 and get the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback that is traditionally reserved for someone who gives millions.

What happens if a project doesn’t reach its goal?

If a partially funded project expires, donors get their donations returned as account credits, which they can use to:

  • Choose a new project to support;
  • Have us choose a new project for them
  • Send the teacher they supported a gift card.

How do you ensure integrity?

We vet every classroom project request, purchase the materials and ship them directly to the school, provide photos of the project taking place, and supply a cost report showing how every dollar was spent.

What kinds of schools do you serve?

K-12 public schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including public charter schools.

How did start?

Charles Best, a new social studies teacher in the Bronx, often talked with his colleagues about materials and experiences they wanted their students to have, but which they had no funding to support. He created in 2000 so that individuals could connect directly with classrooms in need. Check out our fun timeline.

Are gifts tax-deductible?

As a 501(c)3 charity, donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of US law. Our federal tax ID # is 13-4129457.

How long does a project appear on your site?

Projects can remain on our site for up to 4 months, but teachers can set earlier deadlines if they choose.

What percent of projects are successfully funded?

70%. For more stats, see our impact page.

Does it cost money for teachers to post projects?

No, our website is completely free for teachers to use.

Can I donate the materials themselves rather than make a cash donation?

We’re not set up to handle in-kind donations, but these great organizations are.

What’s your mission? engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity. We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.

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