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Mrs. Sanchez-Castro from Baldwin Park CA is requesting Technology through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

The Believe Project

My students need 3 iPads for alternative technology and augmentative communication tools.

  • $2,442 goal

This project expired on August 2, 2015.

This project expired on August 2, 2015.

My Students

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Teaching early education for special populations requires creativity, honesty, endurance, and being unconventional.

My students range in ability, and most are non-verbal.

My students come from low socio-economic, single income, homes. My goal is to enrich their language skills in collaboration with therapists. My classroom is where the most enrichment takes place for these students; likely the only place they will have exposure to alternative augmentative communication (AAC) and technology (AT) for "talking" and learning. My students are currently sharing one iPad device that is my personal property. I need iPads for my classroom. After doing some research, I began using apps that are recommended for concept development and language acquisition/use (AAC.) After a short time, I have seen an increase in the following areas: initiation, shared attention, communicative intent, and meaningful exchange. My classroom make up consists of students with autism, mainly, but also students with multiple disabilities, and orthopedic and/or visual impairment. Currently I am at capacity with 3 aides to support instruction and behavior plans.

My Project

The process for AAC approval for each of my students would take longer than the school year that I have them. If I had tools for communication, they could engage in exploration, direct instruction, play, routines, early literacy, and early math. Peer-reviewed journal studies have shown that children with autism, down syndrome, attention deficit, cerebral palsy, low-tone, and Angel man syndrome--to name a few--benefit from alternative technology tools that facilitate oral language development. The use of highly preferred items for motivation, such as electronics, videos, and any highly predictable game, enhances motivation for task execution. I have seen my students imitate, make requests, and state emotions using pictures for communication, voice-output communication tools, and communication boards. It would benefit my students to have access to all forms of communication if using their voice is not a modality that is readily accessible.

Having a variety of applications for communication will allow all my students, all with differing levels of skill, the ability to interact with adults and peers throughout the day.

They can apply meaning to what they see and hear; concepts will have contextual meaning that can be generalized and applied to their entire world. In special education there is a balance of "normalcy" that one is always attempting to attain, Giving the students a voice allows that to happen more effectively.

Mrs. Sanchez-Castro
Never Before Funded Grades PreK-2
More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households

Equity Focus

At this school, more than 50% of students are Black, Latino, and/or Native American, and more than 50% come from low-income households. Learn how your donation to this school supports a more equitable education.

This project will reach 15 students.

Never Before Funded

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Apple iPad with Retina Display ME392LL/A (128GB, Wi-Fi, Black) 4th Generation • Amazon $594.99 2 $1,189.98
Apple iPad with Retina Display ME400LL/A (128GB, Wi-Fi + AT&T, Black) 4th Generation • Amazon $524.99 1 $524.99
OtterBox Defender Series Case with Screen Protector and Stand for iPad 4th Generation, iPad 2 and 3 - Black • Amazon $44.46 3 $133.38

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Project Activity

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