We strive to create opportunities for students to make a difference in the world through hard-work and motivation. $20 or 20 minutes can change a life. Whether it is doing classwork or homework that translates into helping other nonprofits, reading books and building a personal library, or writing cards and sending care packages to those in need, Twenty4Change shows that regardless of a student’s age, there is always a place for a helping hand and caring heart.
This project comes from my belief that every child should grow up owning their own books. Every month, Scholastic features books that are $1-$2. Teachers love them, because they are great stories and can be bought as class sets on a low budget. However, there are some amazing books that do not go on sale that are usually around $5. The goal would be to be able to give each student at school 5-10 of their own books throughout the year. This would help promote more classroom book clubs and help teachers to do more novel studies.
The purpose of Classwork for a Cause is to raise money for other nonprofits based on the completion of classroom assignments. Students research causes that are important to them and math them with a variety of charities. Students then present their cause for the week to the class. Specific assignments are assigned that week that students must complete in order to have money donated to that week's charity. Although the value of the assignment could change depending on the weeks, most assignments are worth $0.25 with 4 assignments for each student for the week. Students learn that their hard work pays off and in turn helps others.
Allison Cyr teaches fourth grade at Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary School (Desert Sands USD). It’s a profession she never doubted she’d enter. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Anthropology, she completed a multiple subject credential at the University of Redlands, then double Master’s Degrees: one in Education from California Baptist University (Riverside), another in Educational Administration (Concordia University, Irvine).Teaching is in Cyr’s bloodline. In her mother’s Montana hometown, locals still talk about Cyr’s grandmother as “my” teacher. Two aunts, a sister, and her mom also work in education.
Cyr not only believes in bloodlines, but lifelines. Her conviction that teachers are essential “life givers” was literally tested in college when an impactful high school teacher needed a kidney. At twenty, she gave him hers. To deny life to a teacher so committed to helping students finish school wasn’t a choice for her. “I believe,” says Cyr, “that teachers have unbreakable ‘cords of influence.’ That cord stretched from my relatives to Mr. Lienhard to me.”
During student teaching, she created the idea of “Twenty4Change,” twenty dollars or twenty minutes to change a life. Over the last nine years the program has developed into a non-profit and focuses on programs that help show students that they themselves are changemakers and the importance of literacy. She believes in creating a society that pours into each other’s cups one act of kindness at a time.