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From the loverly [livejournal.com profile] nalidoll:

Yesterday, I asked people to take a few moments and vote for a school a dear friend of mine works (and struggles) at in order to help it receive a grant, and asked that people pass along the word. You are allowed to vote for the school once a day. I also posted this to facebook. If you can please take a minute to do this.

The school we are talking about is severely underfunded. It is in AZ, which already has education funding Issues, and it is also located in a poverty stricken area right by the border, which is even more neglected and overlooked in regards to the allocation of what funding does exist. The teachers there end up paying out-of-pocket for so much, just to give their kids the basics, while struggling to get by themselves and crossing their fingers that their jobs will not be cut.

One of the areas that schools like this end up falling so far behind in is technology. In spite of the fact that exposure and training from early on is becoming more and more necessary just to assure a fighting chance in the job market, these schools often do not even have the basics AV equipment, much less the newer tools now becoming such a regular part of everyday life in so many ways. These students will be entering a world where technology plays a bigger and bigger role, and they will be doing so way behind their peers, dooming them to a cycle of poverty.

This school is in a district where a large number of the community is not connected online, and where many do not even own a computer. Unlike better-off districts, they do not have the voting support on a local level that others take for granted. Ironically, this means that those areas already at an advantage over this one are more likely to receive additional money. This is not the most fair way to decide things like this, as it turns it into a bit of a popularity contest, with the prize going to the schools best connected and with more support already, rather than to the schools with the greatest need.

By taking a few moments each day to click a couple links, there is a chance here to make a real and immediate difference in what will amount to thousands of lives. We can all go on about the failures in education funding and policy, but this is a chance to help out that costs you nothing but a few moments of your time. Each person gets up to ten votes per day (one vote per school), allowing you to vote for up to ten ideas daily. If you would like to go through the ideas and find one in your area, or support something you feel passionate about as well, you can do that.

An important part of this is spreading the word. I have been disappointed, quite frankly, that nobody has taken a moment to do this. We pass along memes and quizzes and lolcats and and youtube videos and such without thinking. On facebook, we post app requests and links and anything and everything that strikes our fancy, and will copy and paste a status "to raise awareness" of something new every ten seconds. People will spend an inordinate amount of time posting to Twitter everything they do, say listen to, see... as well as commenting on what everyone else does, says, listens to and sees. We're all so incredibly connected and plugged in... and this is a chance to use that to help out those who do not have the luxury of such easy access to the world and to information.

I am flooded, daily, by requests to sign petitions, show support, pass on awareness of so many causes. I see, constantly, pleas for help for this person or that person who is having a hard time/being treated unfairly by life/in a tight spot.
I regularly see requests to give money to help some complete stranger pay for their CAT'S vet bill.

And yet... this would help thousands of students over the next couple of years. It is a direct and immediate difference, which will have a wide-spread benefit for our next generation, which will also affect *us*. It is a chance to do something Good, and it will cost you nothing.

So... please. Click to vote. If you have a Facebook, you can use that to sign in, or you can register in about 30 seconds at the site. They are not asking for your social security number, bank account, keys to your car, or your firstborn. It's a simple registration to help keep track of who has voted already that day. It's a chance to actually do something about a situation we all shake our heads and declare "such a shame". Something needs to be done, and this is one moment when you have to power to actually make it happen.

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Wyn

January 2012

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