Donna Kaufman is a first grade teacher at Louisa May Alcott School. She goes above and beyond to not only bring science into her Chicago classroom, but into a classroom in Zambia, South Africa.
Zambia is located in central South Africa and is home to the spectacular Victoria Falls, game reserves and diverse wildlife.
Donna sponsors a child in Zambia through an organization called Spark Ventures. Spark Ventures partners with organizations around the world to help vulnerable children achieve their potential.
Through sponsorships the students are able to receive free education (since education is not free), free school supplies, medical check-ups, and hot meals every weekday all year. This is typically the only meal they have each day.
Donna’s sponsored child attends Hope Community, a school that serves grades 1-7 and has 9 teachers.
In February, the executive director and program director for Spark traveled to Zambia and brought classroom exchange materials. Donna’s students made a big book about Chicago landmarks and a book that described snow. A teacher translated the books from English to Bemba, which is the language the students speak.
Chicagoans are very familiar with snow, but the kids at Hope Community have never seen it.
After explaining the concept of snow, the kids were given Insta-Snow powder that Donna had sent. The children’s faces lit up, their eyes widened while their jaws dropped as they watched a little bit of water turn little white flecks of powder into light, fluffy snowflakes in their hands.
This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the class of 45 children who rarely have the chance to do a stimulating science experiment, let alone experience something a world away.
Donna Kaufman is truly an amazing teacher who makes science fun in and outside of her classroom.