So you want to start a ukulele program. Then you look at your music classroom budget, the cost of a class set of ukuleles and teaching materials, and wonder how you’ll ever put ukuleles in students’ hands. Don’t despair – funding your ukulele program through Donors Choose might just be the answer to your problem!
Who Can Use Donors Choose?
According to the Donors Choose eligibility requirements, a person must satisfy the following requirements:
- Work for a public or charter school that serves students in pre-k through 12th grade
- Hold a full time position as a teacher or student-facing faculty member (.75 FTE or higher)
- Must be in charge of creating your own lesson plans
Where Can You Find Ukuleles on Donors Choose?
Building a project on Donors Choose can be a little bit confusing, especially if it’s your first time funding a project. Donors Choose requires people to use their vendor directory until they have acquired 6 points(the amount required to fund a special request outside of the vendor directory). Teachers earn points on their Donors Choose accounts by funding projects, submitting impact letters on time, and sending thank you notes.
Ukuleles can be purchased through two Donors Choose vendors.
Recommended Vendor: Woodwind & Brasswind
As of right now, Woodwind & Brasswind is the only music specific vendor on Donors Choose. Thankfully, they stock a variety of quality ukuleles (located under the guitars section).
If you aren’t sure what brand of ukulele would be best for your students, check out this post that compares ukuleles to help you choose what’s best for your students.
Secondary Vendor Option: Amazon Business
You can find just about anything on Amazon these days. But you’ll want to take extra precaution if you plan to purchase instruments from Amazon.
If you aren’t familiar with a particular brand of ukulele, be sure to do a quick search to ensure it is a reputable brand. If a price for a ukulele is significantly lower, it is likely too good to be true and you might end up with an instrument that breaks easily(or something that’s just a toy!).
How Can You Fund Teaching Materials and Accessories on Donors Choose?
Ukuleles are just the tip of the iceberg. Step one is figuring out how to put an instrument into the hands of students. But what about everything else that goes along with it?
Recommended Vendor for Rainbow Ukulele: TeachersPayTeachers
Did you know that Donors Choose offers gift cards to fund materials found TeachersPayTeachers? Rainbow Ukulele gives you everything you need to teach students ukulele including a getting started kit, student method book, and teacher lesson plans/presentations. Plus, it can all be funded through Donors Choose using TeachersPayTeachers gift cards.
Recommended Vendor for Tuners: Amazon Business
My preferred type of tuner for students is the Snark’s clip on tuner, specifically the model SN5 or SN6. Amazon seems to have the best options for tuners. Just be sure to double check that you’re ordering a NEW tuner and it is the right model type.
Secondary Vendor for Tuners: Woodwind & Brasswind
Snark tuners are available on Woodwind & Brasswind, but they don’t carry as many Snark tuner models. Additionally, the tuners seem to cost more in comparison to Amazon. Woodwind & Brasswind is a good, solid second choice for Snark Tuners.
Recommended Vendor for Ukulele Cases:
If your ukulele doesn’t come with a ukulele bag or case, don’t forget to add those to your list! Amazon provides the largest variety of options, both soft and hard cases. If you’re looking at the least expensive options, just be sure to read reviews before you put in your request to ensure that the bags or cases won’t fall apart quickly.
Secondary Vendor for Ukulele Cases: Woodwind & Brasswind
Woodwind & Brasswind also offers ukulele cases/bags. Similar to the tuners, their options seem to be a little more limited and more costly than Amazon. However, you’ll still be able to find some good options.
Whatever you do, it is not worth funding your ukulele program out of your own pocket! Donors Choose is a great option for teachers who cannot secure funding through the school budget.
In Part 2, I will be giving top tips and tricks on how to get your project funded.
Have you ever secured funding for your ukulele program through Donors Choose? How did the process go for you? Let me know below!
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