Southeast TX Adopt-A-Class!
Are you a teacher or group/organization that wants to adopt a Southeast Texas classroom affected by Harvey? Are you a Golden Triangle teacher that wants to be adopted? You've come to the right place! We are establishing friendships between an SETX class and a class/group/organization that is ready to come alongside that class for this academic year.
While this is intended to result in donated school supplies that are specific to an SETX class's needs, this is not JUST a supply donation service. Why?
The communities in Southeast TX have a long road to recovery. Teachers and their students will be experiencing a range of recovery needs that include supplies now as well as the ongoing need to be remembered, to feel connected to people that don't forget about them, to even address unique needs that come up through out the year for the students' and teachers' families. The community needs to maintain strong morale and can do so one classroom at a time. Plus we all know it takes a special person to be a teacher, and having outside support will make their difficult job just a little easier.
YES, this is intended to donate supplies for an adopted class's timely needs. YES, disaster recovery's hardest season is long after the first week or two of rebuilding. With an adoption and not solely supply donation, we make sure resilient Harvey survivors are never rendered invisible.
What a fun, creative, relational endeavor this then gets to be! Who knows, perhaps you could assign pen pals in the class! Exchange art projects! Do research projects about what makes one another's locale so great!
The good news is that once you're matched, you and your partner class/group decide how this best works for you. There won't be any big oversight, just offered support.
To register to adopt OR be adopted:
Please fill out the scrollable form below, following the prompts. You will receive a confirmation e-mail so you know you're in our system and we are working on finding you a great match! The e-mail will also include suggestions for how to prepare for your match while you wait to find out who those new friends will be.
Questions? See our FAQ below and if that doesn't help, e-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org
& Note Of Personal Responsibility
Upfront information that partners may need to know.
I want to adopt or be adopted. What can I do to be a part of this?
The easiest step is to fill out the embedded form above, and follow the prompts.
We previously had an email to submit your information to, and your responses were so overwhelming that we needed to create this form in order to make sure we gathered all of the responses. What a pleasant problem!
How does this work exactly?
If you are applying for your class to be adopted OR to adopt a teacher and their classroom, please fill out the scrollable form above. You will be matched with a teacher and we’ll send you and that teacher each other’s contact information. After you receive this email, you and your match make all the choices best for y'all at that point. How often do you want to be in touch? (We recommend weekly at first and monthly through out the academic year.) What are the needs of the class, the students, the teachers? How does the adopted teacher prefer to communicate needs (amazon wishlist, etc) and how to best receive them.
This is what is wonderful about class-specific adoption. The teacher gets EXACTLY what their classroom and students need.
What am I committing to by signing up?
The only thing you are committing to is trying to help this teacher and her/his classroom in some way for the duration of the academic year, if at all possible. In no way does the teacher expect you to get everything they need. Many have expressed gratitude for being matched with someone who can provide anything to make the recovery easier.
This adoption is about supplies AND relationships over time. Some matches needs will vary greatly. It's possible some classes will have needs from devastating losses at home more so than the class, but they'll inevitably be healing from that as a class and may need donations toward students' families once supplies are seen to. Of course this is something for you and your match to discuss in terms of what are priority needs -supplies or home needs?- and what the adopter is able to do within their own means.
In fact, if you are a class that gets adopted and you find you need an additional match to help with extra needs, please let us know: email@example.com
I am not a teacher, can I still adopt a classroom?
YES! Of course! When you complete the form instead of School fill in your organization or group name.
My grade level/school wants to adopt more than one classroom….or wants to adopt a whole school…
This can be done! Principals and/or Grade-level chairs, please send us a direct email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss smoothest ways to assign classrooms to your whole school. How wonderful would that be!
What if my whole school gets adopted but not through the Southeast Texas Adopt-A-Classroom project?
That is truly great news!! We love that other communities are opening up and taking in whole schools to support their recovery process. It is possible your match will be meeting very specific needs for your students around class or teacher-specific supplies, your class morale, even students’ families. If the whole-school adoption doesn’t tend to those needs, keep your match around so we can continue to help in a meaningful way!
If the whole school adoption meets all of your needs and you feel as though you do not require the individual match from us please email us at Harveyhelp@thechurchlab.org. That way we can re-match that adopter to another teacher who is still in need of support.
How long is this commitment?
You and your match can decide what's best for you. We recommend assuming this is a commitment that will last for the academic year unless your and your match discuss something shorter or longer than that.
How does shipping work?
We are matching folks and then freeing partners up to decide for themselves what they prefer. With the best address for the class established (school if in tact, and alternative secure shipping address otherwise), we imagine a platform like Amazon Wishlist will work well for purchasing specified items to have sent via amazon.
Is there a standardized list of supplies somewhere?
No, there is not a general list of supplies. Our desire is to get teachers the individual things that their classroom/students need. The matching process helps us to achieve this goal!
What kinds of things are the teachers needing?
These will vary depending on the teacher/school. Some teachers will need basic school supplies: pencils, paper, crayons. Others may be looking for hygienic supplies for their students, toothpaste, soap, etc. Still others may want clean, new or gently used clothes for their students (and new underwear!). Some specialized classes like physical education, music, art, etc, may clearly have other types of needs.
So I need to buy these items and ship them?
Buying and shipping supplies is one way to support teachers. We suspect you may find other means more preferable to the adopted teacher and class. For instance, you can also collect donations and purchase supplies directly from Amazon and have the supplies shipped directly to the school (Yay Prime!). Or you could send an electronic Amazon (or other store) giftcard.
How often should I be in touch with my classroom partner?
We imagine at first a weekly "how are you, what are your needs, here is a prayer or good thought we want to send your way" type of message will be great. Then you can set a calendar reminder or schedule time in for the rest of the academic year to check in with your partner with exactly that sort of inquiry!
What if I get matched but don't hear from my classroom partner?
Whether you are the adopter or adoptee: If you contact your new match and hear nothing for a week or more, let us know and we can begin looking for a new match for you. If you have already begun a partnership with someone and you go more than 30-40 days without any contact, let us know and we will begin looking for a new match for you.
Are you confirming that the people are teachers in need?
Teachers who have applied are providing us with their school district emails. We also strongly urge you to ship directly to the schools, if the buildings are in tact and receiving mail. This will ensure that the school and teacher get the supplies at the place they will be used.
Also, we have a great trust in our SETX teachers. This was begun through a Facebook post and circulated through friends who have long been involved with the school districts in this area. All of the teachers applying are either a direct friend or a teacher at that friend’s school.
Are schools able to receive the shipments?
Right now it is unclear when schools will be able to reopen. We are trying to match people now, but your generosity may not be needed for a week or two. This is great because it gives you time to gather supplies/donations to send to your matched teacher once they know what their classroom looks like and what their students need.
What is the timeline for getting matched?
Once you fill out the google form, you will receive a registration confirmation and can rest easy we are hard at work finding you a match! We are trying to be as prompt as possible, and we are aware of the shifting calendars among the SETX school districts and want to get folks matched in a way that helps people as they return to/begin the school year.
We are a team of three people (2 that grew up in SETX!) who have day jobs trying to organize a relief effort. Please bear wtih us. It is a priority and commitment to be a meaningful help to our SETX community.
Note of Personal Responsibility:
This matching project is intended to help you meaningfully, but we cannot assume responsibility for satisfaction with your match. We think this will be of great benefit to both matched parties, but as a third party trying to help, we have no way of 100% guaranteeing that this will work well for matches, and it is a voluntary risk and matter of trust to share information with us that gets passed onto a partner. If we suspect anyone is sharing false information or joining for purposes other than what we intend for matches, we will not match that party. But we cannot guarantee we will catch someone that is crazy enough to try to hinder the help we're offering. Nor can we think of any reason why someone would do so.
All suggestions we have made regarding sending supplies involve mechanisms that protect your financial information, and of course we are asking for none of it.
We encourage you to do your own homework to ensure you are comfortable trusting the legitimacy of your match's identity. Google that person's school or group on the internet, and feel free to let us know if you have any concerns whatsoever. It is within your control to decide how much information to share with your partner otherwise, as you build trust.
All this to say, we do NOT anticipate this being an issue. We want to be clear about any risks assumed and where responsibility lies accordingly, as we try to support you the best we can with the resources we have! Quite to the contrary, we are looking forward to hearing about all the lovely friendships that will come from this year of supporting classes affected by Harvey. Thank you for being a part of our project! We are delighted to get to exercise hope together.
-Carrie, Lana and Kelly