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Kindle Classroom Project Update, November 2013

favicon Well, it’s already the middle of November, so I’m a bit late with this update, but I’d like to report that October was a strong one for the Kindle Classroom Project! Here are some highlights:

1. There were tons of books donated.
We broke a record! A total of 54 books were donated in October, smashing the previous mark of 35 set in March. That’s nearly two books a day! (Now there are 363 books in the library!)

The books came from everywhere — from sustaining donors and new donors. But most of all, half of the books came from former students. And that makes me very happy.

Here’s a neat little chart to show the growth of our Kindle library:

2. Kindle batteries faltered, but donors came to the rescue.
I have to be honest: I was bummed when I learned that 10 to 15 of the Kindles, mostly Kindle 2s, had faulty batteries. Though it’s normal for electronic products to become obsolete after a few years, I did not like the prospect of retiring a large portion of the Kindle collection.

So as usual, I put out a call for batteries, which Amazon does not want us to buy but proudly sells on its website, and generous donors answered. Thank you to Laura (San Francisco, CA), Wil (New York, NY), Erin (San Jose, CA), and Mary (Parkersburg, IA) for the nifty batteries.

And then I surprised myself by fixing seven of the Kindles, including one that had a cracked screen. This took minor handyman skills! It gives me the confidence that I will be able to repair Kindles in the future. That said, batteries are cheap, whereas screens are not. That’s why I’m hopeful that the students will continue to take care of their Kindles instead of smooshing them in backpacks.

3. The Kindles are in five classrooms now.
My move to New York this summer and back in September meant that the Kindles got to experience the country in the back of a van. The movers did an excellent job taking care of the devices. My thinking is that only one was damaged as result of the 6,000-mile trek.

The move-and-move-back also meant that it was impossible to get the Kindles into students’ hands immediately at the beginning of the school year. It took a while, especially with so many new books to load on the Kindles, but I’m happy to announce that now all is well.

It’s also an honor to work with Natalia and Tess, two excellent teachers who care deeply about their students and their reading lives. If they let me, maybe I’ll feature them here on Iserotope!

4. The Kindle Classroom Project is getting more and more donors.
Some are sustaining donors, who have given repeatedly. Others are new. Some like my students’ Amazon Wishlist. Others find the project on Facebook. However folks find Iserotope or the Kindle Classroom Project, I am grateful.

In October, 35 people donated. (A few donated twice in the same month!) Isn’t that wonderfully insane?

Here they are: Nicole (Quincy, MA; sustaining donor), LeAnne (Fremont, CA; sustaining donor), Iris (San Diego, CA; sustaining donor), Laura (San Francisco, CA; sustaining donor), Elaine (Stanford, CA), Deanna (New York, NY), Collins (Kentfield, CA), Michael (San Francisco, CA), Amanda (San Jose, CA), Henry (San Francisco, CA), Rasheel (Mission Viejo, CA), Cindy (San Francisco, CA), Melva (San Francisco, CA), Eric (London, UK), Camila (Berkeley, CA), Ian (Mountain View, CA), Dave (Oakland, CA; sustaining donor), Stella (Hialeah, FL), May (Oakland, CA), Susan (Tacoma, WA), Kimberlynn (Boston, MA), Joey (Fremont, CA), Kyle (Sacramento, CA), Jillian (Livermore, CA), Pedrito (San Francisco, CA), Laura (Santa Cruz, CA), Katherine (New York, NY), Kati (Newark, CA), Stephanie (Daly City, CA), Matt (Fremont, CA), Fred (Albany, CA), Dawn (Newark, CA), Sam (North Potomac, VA), Mary (Parkersburg, IA; sustaining donor), and Wil (New York, NY; sustaining donor).

It’s all very great. As I’ve said before, donations come in waves. September was the month of Kindles. It seemed like one came every other day. And October was the month of books. November is almost halfway done, and so far, things are fairly quiet on the donations front. They’re certainly not quiet in the schools, where students are reading avidly on their Kindles, requesting books, and getting interested in reading again.

Stay tuned for some stories from the classrooms! favicon

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