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Monday, December 23rd, 2013 by Taylor Kenney
Using DonorsChoose.org, the Treehouse funded Mr. Pannoni’s project titled “Computers Needed To Enhance Writing Instruction” and purchased two Acer Chromebooks for his students to write and publish stories. DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it simple for anyone to donate and help local public schools in need. It allows teachers from across America to post their classroom projects and detail their need for supplies such as laptops, books, and writing utensils.
Once the project goal is reached, DonorsChoose.org sends the materials to the school. In return, the donor receives a thank-you letter from the teacher and students. Needless to say, the Treehouse was touched when we received 11 hand-written thank-you notes from Mr. Pannoni’s class.
In his thank you letter, Mr. Pannoni expressed his excitement and gratitude, saying, “Your generous donation means that my students will be able to actually complete their short stories and student compilation book with fewer roadblocks, bringing the students of my school closer to experiencing the joy of becoming published writers! Your generosity will not be forgotten as we work towards the completion of our project, and your kindness will reflect in the finished result.”
A seventh grader in Mr. Pannoni’s class wrote, “Thank you for donating Google Chromebooks to our classroom. We were able to use them to write a story about an important life event. I wrote about a new starts. It’s about going to a new place and meeting new people after leaving the place where I was raised. Thank you again for your help in our school and thank you for letting me express my feelings over the story.”
One student in particular used the Chromebook to write a very sentimental experience she had with her grandfather. A sixth grader at North End Middle School wrote about her grandpa who recently passed away. She described how they had fed their chickens together, drank coffee and enjoyed cookies. She remembered her grandfather’s passing and recalled, “On the last day he had with us, it was hard to say goodbye. It was hard for me to sit there and see him slowly fade away. That day, everyone was crying.” She concluded her story by explaining that even though her grandfather is no longer with her, she still carries his memory each and every day. “Something that stayed the same with me was drinking coffee and eating cookies because drinking coffee and eating cookies reminds me of my grandfather,” she wrote.
It is often said that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is futile. At the Treehouse, we believe this to be true. The Treehousers’ small donation has had a positive impact on this classroom of middle school students by not only providing them with an outlet to write creatively, but by giving them the chance to share their voice- and that is truly priceless.