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Happy December! Hope your holiday is going well so far! It has been a long time since my last update, and since then, there have been huge changes to the Kindle Classroom Project. Check out these highlights!
The KCP smashes the 1,000-Kindle barrier!
Kindle donations have been astounding this year. Back in February, there were 688 Kindles. Now there are 1,376. (Yep, that’s double the number.) How is this possible? Two ways:
1. Generous supporters have sent in Kindles at around 1 per day.
Donors since February include: Anne (Seattle, WA), Mark (Kensington, CA), Mark (Bethesda, MD), Paula (Brooklyn, NY), Stacey (Danville, CA), Michelle (San Francisco, CA), Barbara (Encinitas, CA), Jay (Odenton, MD), Brian (Leesburg, VA), Uketa (Columbus, GA), Thao (Daly City, CA), Cherie (Burlington, ON), Arran (Denver, CO), John (Schererville, IN), Tom & Rob (San Francisco, CA), Wendy (Nashville, TN), James (Willington, CT), Robert (Dix Hills, NY), Melisa (West Bend, WI), Anjum (Brooklyn, NY), Vicky (New York, NY), Raymond (Philadelphia, PA), Amy (Atlanta, GA), Sharath (Charlotte, NC), Sharon (Natchez, MS), Michael (Cupertino, CA), Kerry (Marina, CA), Paul (Berkeley, CA), Anna (Calgary, AB), Samantha (Beacon, NY), Darrell (Lodi, CA), Dezmond (Seattle, WA), Adams Brothers (Atlanta, GA), Angela (San Mateo, CA), Caren (Camp Springs, MD), Sarah (Austin, TX), Paul (Manakin-Sabot, VA), Mario (Alexandria, VA), Emily (San Francisco, CA), Michael (Patchogue, NY), Peter (Santa Clara, CA), Daniel (New York, NY), Wendy (Sandy, OR), Sandra (Houston, TX), Ann (Los Altos, CA), Elizabeth (Byron, MN), Kay (Ballston Lake, NY), Joanne (Indianapolis, IN), Diane (Sammamish, WA), Sarah (Lake Oswego, OR), John (Boulder, CO), Rob (Villanova, PA), Herb (Morehead City, NC), Terry (Etiwanda, CA), JonAngelo (Twain Harte, CA), Cathy (Lodi, CA), Janice (El Cerrito, CA), Patrick (Norwood, MA), Brad & Ellen (Okemos, MI), Britt (Philadelphia, PA), Russ (Lees Summit, MO), Christine (Lilburn GA), Pete (N. Olmsted, OH), Mark (Pompano Beach, FL), Sarah (Seattle, WA), Christina (Huntington Station, NY), Sarah (North Royalton, OH), Christine (Somerville, MA), Linda (Roseville, CA), Kate (Dayton, ME), Peter (San Francisco, CA), Eleanor (Bellevue, WA), Christine (Herndon, VA), Sandra (Dallas, TX), Rosalie (Melrose Park, IL), Mary (Blooming Grove, TX), Mark (La Jolla, CA), Gay (Flemington, NJ), Christine (Olympia, WA), Lynnette (Los Angeles, CA), Andy (St. Louis, MO), Cissy (Plymouth, MA), Nealy (San Francisco, CA), Reginald (Houston, TX), Patricia (Irving, TX), Elizabeth (Seattle, WA), Bonnie (Charleston, SC), Marcia (Englewood, CO), Cassandra (Balwyn, AUS), Karla (Sherman Oaks, CA), Juliana (Harrisburg, PA), John (San Mateo, CA), Alan (Encinitas, CA), Pam (Midland, TX), Darlene & Hugh (Woodcliff Lake, NJ), Allison (Jacksonville, FL), Yvonne (Kissimmee, FL), Kristin (Seattle, WA), Olimpia (Salem, SC), Robert (Sun City, AZ), Sharon (Algonac, MI), Teresa (W. Orange, NJ), Jennifer (Ackworth, GA), Elizabeth (Morro Bay, CA), Kerry (Marina Del Rey, CA), Marc (Brooklyn, NY), Andras (Concord, NC), Marie & Eddie (Bangor, ME), Kristin (Hayward, CA), Susan (Arlington, VA), Aaron (Albuquerque, NM), Diane (Calgary, AB), Kristi (Ramona, CA), Leigh (Seligman, MO), Sheila (Berkeley, CA), Allie (Orange, CA), Jacki (Edgewater, MD), Charlene (Englewood, CO), Shari (San Francisco, CA), Kate (Newburyport, MA), Sam (North Potomac, MD), Joey (Parkville, MD), Pam (Stamford, CT), Simona (Altamante Springs, FL), Chris (Montgomery Vlg, MD), The Pelletiers (N. Tonawanda, NY), Matt (Ladera RAnch, CA), Robert (Ossining, NY), Anthony (New York, NY), Jamie (Oakland, CA), Betsy (Seattle, WA), Susan (Mtn. View, CA), Nathaniel (Brooklyn, NY), Francis (San Francisco, CA), Heather (Bozeman, MT), Jodell (Skaneateles, NY), Robin (Bronx, NY), Alissa (Waterford, VA), Karen (Highland Vlg, TX), Jim (Buffalo, NY), Michele (San Francisco, CA), Christian (Kirkland, WA), Joe (Seattle, WA), Joe (Seattle, WA), YT (San Diego, CA), Robyn (Redmond, WA), Janet (San Jose, CA), Daniel (Ben Lomond, CA), Jay (Odenton, MD), Blaiz (Los Angeles, CA), Brad & Ellen (Okemos, MI), Matthew (San Francisco, CA), Jeff (Placentia, CA), Megan (Lincoln, CA), Jocelyn (San Francisco, CA), Greg (Irvine, CA), Amy (Brooklyn, NY), Miriam (Davis, CA), Shannon (Boise, ID), Carson (Newburyport, MA), Ma’Lanee (Bear, DE), David (Chevy Chase, MD), Oliver (Houston, TX), and Iris (Avon, CT). THANK YOU!
Have another Kindle to donate? Or a friend who might like to donate one? Here’s how.
2. Worldreader made a huge donation of 458 Kindles to the KCP. (Wow.)
Worldreader is a wonderful non-profit organization whose mission is to eradicate illiteracy, “to create a world where everyone is a reader.” Last month, I got a message from Zev Lowe, senior director at Worldreader. Could the KCP use some Kindles? And would you like to come by to speak to the team? Sure!
It was wonderful to meet the Worldreader staff, get a tour of operations (thank you, Ryan Lew), meet founder David Risher, and answer questions about the KCP. (Here are some neat slides!) Everyone was kind, smart, and like-minded. Their commitment to promoting reading among young people in the developing world is unparalleled, and they were impressed with the KCP community of students, teachers, and supporters.
Zev’s promise of “some” Kindles ended up becoming this behemoth donation (458 Kindles, 400+ cases, 400+ chargers, and more). Take a look!
This donation from Worldreader is the largest in KCP history. It allows the program to serve more students and teachers in more schools. In addition, I look forward to keeping in touch with Worldreader to find ways that both projects can deepen our impact.
The KCP now serves a whole school!
It was always a dream of mine to see the Kindle Classroom Project grow to serve an entire school. That dream is now a reality! Since August, all 425 students at Envision Academy in Oakland have been reading on Kindles. They have 25 minutes of independent reading time every day, plus nearly all students take their Kindles home. This means students read at night, on weekends, and over vacation breaks.
Every Friday, I get to visit Envision Academy, and inevitably, students stop me in the halls and staircases, asking me for new books, telling me about their favorites, and thanking me for their Kindles. Sometimes they call me Mr. Mark, and other times, they refer to me as The Kindle Guy, and either way, it is heartwarming.
The KCP Library is booming
Because of generous donors and student enthusiasm, the KCP Library now stands at 925 books (up from 669 in February). The library keeps growing and growing! One motto of the program is that students may read what they like, when they like, however much they like. As a result, students get to request new titles that interest them, and students choose well.
Here are some of the books students have requested over the past few weeks:
Students choose good books. They request their books on the program website, any time day and night, and I buy them within a few hours. There is a trust building among students that the KCP community cares deeply about their reading interests and will honor student book requests.
I’d like to thank the following people for donating to build the KCP Library in 2016: Lori (Oceanside, CA), Jamie (Oakland, CA), Brian (Leesburg, VA), Becky (Woodside, NY), Stuart (New York, NY), Iris (San Diego, CA), DSW (Saratoga, CA), Chris (Montgomery Village, MD), Toni (Apex, NC), Ma’Lanee (Bear, DE), Sharon (Naperville, IL), Elder Family Foundation (Berkeley, CA), Sherril (Pacifica, CA), Dina (Saratoga, CA), Patrick (Garfield, NJ), Barbara (Oakland, CA), Pat (Santa Rosa, CA), Michelle (Alameda, CA), Tom & Rob (San Francisco, CA), Karl & Phoebe (Santa Cruz, CA), Allie (Orange, CA), Bob (New York, NY), and Kati (Newark, CA). Thank you! (Hope I didn’t miss anyone!)
Want to help build the KCP Library? Here’s how!
Sustaining donors ensure the KCP’s long-term health
Whenever I get nervous that I won’t be able to honor a student’s book request, another KCP supporter chooses to donate again, or to make a sustaining donation. It is a testament to the power of the KCP community that so many people continue to give and give. KCP supporters believe in young people and their reading lives.
Here are the KCP’s sustaining donors of 2016: Brian (Leesburg, VA), DSW (Saratoga, CA), Iris (San Diego, CA), Sherril (Pacifica, CA), Barbara (Oakland, CA), Pat (Garfield, NJ), Dina (Saratoga, CA), Stuart (New York, NY), Toni (Apex, NC), Lori (Oceanside, CA), Sam (North Potomac, MD), Matthew (San Francisco, CA), Irene (Los Altos, CA), Cathy (Lodi, CA), Susan (Mtn. View, CA), Emily (San Francisco, CA), Kati (Newark, CA), Amy (Brooklyn, NY), Kate (Dayton, ME), Bob (New York, NY), Jamie (Oakland, CA), Pat (Santa Rosa, CA), Elder Family Foundation (Berkeley, CA), Laura (San Francisco, CA), Chris (Montgomery Vlg, MD). Thank you! (Hope I didn’t miss anyone!)
In all, $9,148 has been donated so far in 2016, 22% more than the $7,525 donated last year. Thank you! Want to become a sustaining supporter of the KCP? Here’s how!
Next steps for the KCP
So much, so many things! I’m excited about a number of projects, including:
– Finding another school that would like to go all-KCP. There are a few excellent candidates, including ARISE High School, Oakland High School, Elmhurst Community Prep (all in Oakland), Leadership High School, and City Arts and Technology High School (both in San Francisco). We would pilot in the Spring semester and then launch whole-school next August.
– Maybe expanding to middle schools. Research says that independent reading declines beginning in fifth grade, especially for boys. If the KCP can encourage young people to read beginning in middle school, they’ll never have to reclaim their love of reading; it’ll always be there! One challenge: Introducing middle schools would require starting a new KCP library from scratch to accommodate what’s appropriate for younger readers.
– Nonprofit 501c3? It’s always in the back (or front!) of my mind to quit my day job, take a risk, and make the Kindle Classroom Project a nonprofit organization. But legal and financial considerations (particularly with book distribution) make it challenging. My hope is to build a pilot program in 2017 that will test whether a 501c3 is viable. This “test KCP classroom” might be one that I lead myself! (More to come about that.)
Thank you again for all your support. We have built a very strong community. If you’d like to help out some more, please let me know!