Monday, January 03, 2011

A great idea linking KIPP TEAM in Newark to the Kyandili school in Kenya

Another wonderful idea that links two of my favorite causes: education for disadvantaged kids in America (via KIPP) and education for disadvantaged kids in Kenya (via my dear friend Jane Newman; she and I have worked together for years on The Thorn Tree Project (, but she's also involved with other schools).


It's only $43 or $85 to get involved


Dear Friends,

For three years now I have been working on a project that links KIPP TEAM Academy charter school in Newark (an outstanding, inner city education success story) with Kyandili school in Kenya (a rural school with 300 students who desperately need library books.) I am hoping you could help me on this in the new year. 

It is an idea I think you will  like. It is a tax deductable donation of either $43 or $85 that will motivate 99 disadvantaged fifth grade kids at TEAM Academy in Newark to significantly improve their math grades AND help them buy books for a school in Kenya. (Details below.) This is a worthy cause run by amazing, smart and committed people. I have promised to get them 30 people to sign up for it. I am sending this email to 50 people and I am hoping 30 of you will help. I promise you it will be fun, interesting and effective. It is tax deductible, every cent goes to the school in Kenya and although you register now you don't have to give any money until March when you can just pay by credit card.

If you are interested in helping just email me back and tell me you want to do it. Then Ali Nagel the head of fifth grade at TEAM will write back to you.

 Here is the slogan and the idea.

 work hard + be nice = be the change

Work Hard   

The students come from inner city schools in Newark where traditional public school education is one of the worst in the country. TEAM Academy accepts students from the surrounding Newark schools in the 5th grade. When the students arrive in September their math is on average at grade 3 level. The goal is to get them up to 6th grade by the end of the school year. 

Be Nice   

The students have decided to help a school in Kenya with students even worse off than they are. They have already had a penny drive that has raised $1,000. Their goal is to give the school plenty of books to make a library. The kids at TEAM cherish the books in their own library and want the kids in Kenya to have the same. 

Be the change   

The TEAM students have finished their first trimester. They have worked hard and are showing results. The teacher wants to give them an extra incentive to do even better in the 12 math tests over the next semester (which ends in March.) Their goal is to achieve an 80% passing grade by the end of the year. Right now only 47% are achieving this. The teacher wants to push it up.

The idea is to get as many people as possible to sign up to support them. These supporters will each agree to donate a dime to every student that gets 80% or more on a test. The dime goes to the school in Kenya. There are 12 tests in the semester so plenty of opportunities to earn dimes and if we can get a lot of people to sign up for this then the dimes will mount up.

The math teachers are confident that this will be very motivating and a lot of fun – they will really try for it. And the kids will be pumped up that so many people they don't even know are rooting for them. One student who learned of the plan said, "good grades means good money to do good in Kenya!" So the kids not only get to improve their grades but get to make a library in Kenya. How cool is that!!

Work hard to get better grades  to earn more dimes Be nice and help a school in Kenya Be the change you want to see in the world – preparing Newark students for college and helping people even less well off than themselves

The kids are working on a Facebook page that Ali will sign you up for. It will a lot of fun and it will monitor their progress You can post comments of encouragement if you like.

The cost for each supporter will be  $70 to $85 depending how well the students do on the tests. You could also do half (5 cents per test instead of 10 cents) which would only be $35 to $43 and  I can easily team you up with someone else to do a half share each. 

Just email me back and say you are on, click reply and write one word -- YES!  As I said you only need to sign up now, you don't have to pay until the tests are all finished in March. And of course, if you know of anyone else who might be interested please pass this email on (without the contact list please.) 

All love, Jane

PS  The TEAM Academy web site is and web site of the school in Kenya is

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