In mid-January, a teacher named Ms. Max reached out to the community behind DonorsChoose.org, a crowdsourcing organization dedicated to classroom projects in America’s public schools. She wanted to bring phonics and phonemic awareness to kindergartners at Toomer Elementary in Atlanta, many of whom come from low-income families in the East Lake, Kirkwood, and Edgewood neighborhoods.
Doctor.com employees come supercharged with a philanthropic spirit to help our communities on a local and global scale. (Read about previous endeavors here and here.) And we have a strong presence in the greater Atlanta area. So, when Chad Giles, VP of user experience and father of a Toomer Elementary student, presented the idea of sponsoring the phonics and phonemic initiative to Noel Coleman, Doctor.com’s chief revenue officer, Noel immediately said yes.
With Doctor.com’s funding, Ms. Max was able to purchase a selection of games that help develop phonemic awareness and establish strong reading skills in kindergartners. The games will be used by teachers in five classroom to build skills, review progress, and intervene if a student needs more time with a concept. These hands-on activities support more than 80 kindergartners, setting a solid foundation for spelling, writing, and decoding words, and can be used for years to come. You can watch the big reveal here.
A huge shoutout to Chad, Noel, and everyone at Doctor.com who helped make this project a reality. And to the amazing students of Toomer Elementary: We hope you’re ready to hit the books!