Something I hope everyone already knows: education is expensive. It’s expensive in the obvious ways — pencils and notebooks, backpacks and rulers — but also in many less tangible ones. If I learned anything when I switched from public school to private school, it’s that many independent schools have resources public schools can only dream of. From state-of-the-art science labs to brand new textbooks for every student, private schools are funded to provide their students with better facilities and informational access than many American public schools are equipped to provide.
That being said, I was lucky. I lived in a school district where — while my German II textbook in 2006 was published in 1981 — I always had books. I always had a well-stocked school library, a functional computer, and enough craft supplies to sink a small ship. Growing up in a well-to-do suburb, while my public school didn’t have fancy things, it had everything. I never felt deprived or disadvantaged or uninformed, even if I sometimes felt uninspired.
That right there, is the definition of my privilege. Because most public schools in America aren’t just missing fancy things, they’re missing everything. Their textbooks aren’t just out-of-date, they often don’t exist. Many schools don’t have computers. They certainly don’t have the student subscriptions to newspapers and magazines that were lynchpins of my childhood education.
And that lack? That’s important. How can we expect our nation’s children to grow up to be well-informed citizens when they get so much of their news second and thirdhand? How do we expect America’s children to become responsible, engaged adults when we don’t give them the chance to develop their critical thinking skills, let alone exercise them? How can we hope for children in poverty to become upwardly mobile when they’re never given the tools to succeed? Without the chance to see what well-reasoned, properly supported arguments look like, how can we expect children to grow up and form those well-reasoned, properly-supported arguments themselves?
The answer is, we can’t. That’s why we have to take a stand. That’s why we have to give kids the resources they need to succeed.
There’s lots of ways to support kids in our nation’s public schools. You can donate directly to teachers and classrooms via websites such as Donors Choose . And while those direct donations are hugely important, so too is giving public school students access to the same quality information as their private school counterparts.
So today, I offer you a call to action. Support access to clear, unbiased information written with journalistic integrity. Support the free press. Support teaching generations of children how to think for themselves. Support The New York Times.
Before you ask, I am in no way affiliated with The New York Times. I make no profit from this request. I do not know anyone currently employed by their organization. I do, however, believe in the invaluable nature of what they do. I believe that they are a bastion of journalistic integrity in an era of media uncertainty. I believe that children in all 50 states deserve to read the words The New York Times works so tirelessly to print.
So please, sponsor a student subscription to The New York Times (you can find the link here). For every $3 you donate, you provide a subscription for 1 child, and each dollar you contribute is matched by the Times. That means if you donate just $10, you’ll provide student subscriptions for 6 children.
No your donation isn’t tax deductible (the paper is, obviously, a for-profit organization). But in this age of alternative facts, where even (and perhaps most especially) the President of the United States is constantly speaking lies, isn’t it worth our while to provide the best information to our nation’s children, even if we won’t receive any monetary gain?
For me, the answer is yes. Screw tax deductions, let’s provide the next generation of children with the information they need to become the next leaders of our nation. I don’t need any monetary incentive to do that.
Day 63: March 5 ,2017