As the Swap4Schools campaign has shown us, give the Swap community a quick, fun and easy way to help out others and they will respond. The campaign is less than three weeks old and has already netted hundreds of donations in more than two dozen states. Yeah, we think that’s a good start too.
While we thank the generous members of our community who have signed up and donated almost entirely through word of mouth, we want to shine a spotlight on the teachers, librarians and administrators who are the seeing the results of this program in their schools. We’ve started to hear a lot of stories roll in from program participants and we are excited to share them with you.
One of the first teachers to contact us was Deborah Michaud, a librarian from Fitchburg, Massachusetts. After receiving her first donation two weeks back, she quickly fired off an email to our Founder Jeff Bennett, expressing appreciation and amazement at the size of the donations her school’s library had received.
We reached out to her to find a little bit more about her experience with the program…
Interview with Deborah Michaud, Librarian and Educator, Fitchburg High School
Swap: Thanks for allowing us to share your story. What do you do at Fitchburg High School and how long have you been there?
Deborah: I am currently a high school librarian. I started my career in education as a secondary history teacher. Then I obtained my school librarian certification and have spent 26 years in elementary, middle school and high school libraries.
What’s your favorite thing about being a teacher?
I get to work with kids and books which are my two favorite things in life.
How many donations did you receive?
I have received 17 books so far and I appear to have several more coming. I’ve received most of the Ellen Hopkins books, which are very popular with high school students.
What’s the impact been like for this program in your classroom?
I had no book budget this year so I have been haunting clearance shelves and used book sales to try to keep my library current. This has been an amazingly simple, not to mention cost effective, way to do that.
What do you think the possibilities of a program like this are – For schools, for students, and for others?
From my short experience with this program, I think it could make a real difference to students, especially in poor urban school districts like mine. Book budgets, especially library book budgets, are a fairly easy item for administrator to cut when budgets are reduced. However, it is so important for us to provide all students with the books they need and want to read. Most of our students do not have home libraries or transportation to our minimally funded public library. This program can make a significant contribution to all people, but especially to schools like mine.
Behind each donation, is a great story and we aim to let those stories be heard. If you’re a teacher, librarian, administrator or a donor who wants to tell you’re Swap4Schools story, we’d love to hear them. You can write them in the comments below, or share them on our Facebook Wall.
Thanks to everyone and we look forward watching this program grow and continue to impact more schools across the country.