1. The project launched its second classroom.
A few months ago, a friend and generous donor asked me, “Why don’t you think bigger?” At the time, I was happy with the Kindle Classroom Project remaining as a singular noun. But then tons of Kindles arrived, so I had to rethink the project’s scale.
This Monday, a second set of ninth graders — this time in San Francisco — got their Kindles. I can’t wait to share pictures, profiles, and more. It took several hours over Spring Break to get the devices ready for deployment, but it’s so much fun. The teacher leading the project emailed me on Monday night and said the students are very excited to read.
2. There are now 43 Kindles in the collection.
In the last update about a month ago, there were 41 Kindles. March added two more Kindles, and I am very grateful, particularly because they’re from generous people from far away.
Kindle #42, a Kindle Keyboard, came from Marc in Minnesota. He found us by doing a Google search and filling out the form on the Kindle Classroom Project page.
Kindle #43, a Kindle Fire, came from Chris in Louisville, Kentucky. She also found us via the Internet. (The Internet is a beautiful thing.) Her Fire came not just with a came but also a kind and encouraging note for the student recipient.
3. There are now 232 books in the collection.
Part of expanding to a second classroom meant that I wanted to make sure that each of the 18 new Kindlers had something perfect to read right when they got their new Kindle.
So I splurged and invested about $100 to build the ebook library. (Comeback Kings, above, was one that I bought.) That money, along with donations, increased the total number of titles to 232 from 197. Yep, that means the library grew by 35 titles — or by 18 percent, if you like percentages.
This is important. Kindles are great, but good books might be even more important to the growth of the project. I’ve read in several places (including from Kelly Gallagher) that a good classroom library has 20 titles per student. This means that if there are 43 students using Kindles, there should be 800+ good titles in the ebook library.
4. Generous contributors are donating physical books, too.
Although I encourage students to read on Kindles (for many reasons), some prefer physical books. In addition, until we attain a 1:1 Kindle-to-student ratio, we need to make sure physical classroom libraries are bursting with real-life, made-with-paper, physical books.
To that end, last week I wrote a post that named a few books that African American boys want to read. To encourage people to donate, I mentioned the Kindle Classroom Project’s Amazon Wishlist (all student requests).
Then came the books — nine so far. The funny (and sometimes challenging part) is that sometimes, there’s no way to figure out the donor. The books often arrive with no receipt or packing list. (There are worse problems in life.)
Thank you to Michele (San Francisco, CA), LeAnne (Fremont, CA), Denise (Alpharetta, GA), and Angela (Concord, CA) for all the great reading material! All four of them are repeat contributors. They’re not happy — oh no, they’re not — with donating just once.
5. I won a $250 grant for books.
Every once in a while, I search online for quick and easy ways to get grants and build the project. And every once in a while, I’m successful. Yes, $250 isn’t too much, but it’ll get 25 more ebooks, and I’m pretty happy about that.
* * *
What do you think will happen next at the Kindle Classroom Project? Will an anonymous donor click on the bright green button at the top of the page and make a huge contribution?
Or will Amazon find us here and donate a class set of Kindles?
Please let me know your predictions.