Written by Jon Ketchum
In less than one month, fifth grade teacher Stacy Yetzer campaigned for $500 in community donation through Digital Wish. To help spread awareness for her classroom campaign, Yetzer worked with students to craft, stamp and mail hand-written letters to local business owners in Kersey, PA.
For nearly a decade at Fox Township Elementary, Yetzer has been committed to teaching students how to take ownership of their knowledge. As the facilitator of the classroom, Yetzer says that she continually strives for an equal balance of student and teacher participation.
“Finding a balance is difficult but I think once you do, it's well worth it for the kids,” Yetzer said. “By showing them that I am willing to work with them and be one of them, they open up and really give me what they're capable of.”
Yetzer often turns to technology to enhance independent student study and peer evaluation. Since receiving an interactive whiteboard, Yetzer says that she has been on a mission to put more technology into her classroom.
“I haven't had my Promethean Board for too long, but hands down this is the best asset we have in our classroom,” Yetzer said. “So I navigated through Digital Wish and read the instructions on how to actually start accumulating money for more technology.”
Soon after, Yetzer decided that she was going to ask her students to participate in a letter writing campaign. When the students realized that their letters could turn into classroom tech, they jumped at the idea.
“We started the campaign as an in-class writing activity,” she said. “We brainstormed ideas around the technology that we wanted and then we wrote rough drafts and edited them before we sent them out.”
Just two weeks after the letters landed in local mailboxes, Yetzer and her students started receiving donations. In total, the 19 letters sent inspired local business to give 4 cash donations and 2 product donations totaling $500 in funding. They raised nearly one donation for every three letters they sent.
“I found that the businesses that donated to us really appreciated the student's attempt and effort in writing letters,” Yetzer said. “I also had several business owners tell me that they appreciated the fact that the students added comments about our classroom and how their money would be used.”
Through the success of her campaign, Yetzer was targeted by her local PTO to speak at the next board meeting. According to Yetzer, Fox Township's PTO is looking to get more teachers involved in Digital Wish. Through the meeting Yetzer is also hoping to introduce the idea of PTO contributions to Digital Wish classroom campaigns at Fox Township Elementary.
“I have volunteered to help get the other teachers in our school on board through Digital Wish because it has worked for me,” she said. “It's a huge help, people truly don't understand the different costs a school has and how much we try to do with what we have."