Mrs. Henry from Stephen Foster School 67 leads a music class.  Mrs. Eleanor Henry, the music teacher at Stephen Foster School 67, says she loves what she does. And she must. She’s been doing it for 47 years, 38 of them at Stephen Foster! That in and of itself is an amazing achievement. But in 2006 when funding for her music program was disappearing, she took her commitment to the music education of her students to another level and found her way to DonorsChoose.org.

At the time DonorsChoose.org was a fairly new organization, offered in only 10 cities, Indianapolis being one of them. It has since spread to be available throughout the country. The DonorsChoose.org tagline is “Teachers Ask. You Choose.” And asking is what Mrs. Henry decided to do. Through DonorsChoose.org, Mrs. Henry wrote proposals for what she needed in her classroom and posted them on the DonorsChoose.org website. Donors would then go on the site, peruse the proposals and choose what and where to donate. If she needed drums, she wrote the proposal, and donors contributed funds for drums. If she needed costumes for a choir, basketballs to help students learn to keep beat or iPads for a music station, she just wrote the proposal and donors helped out. It’s been such a successful approach that now everything in her music room short of some CDs and sheet music has been paid for by donors through DonorsChoose.org. “It’s a teacher’s best friend,” she said, “especially for the arts.”

And Mrs. Henry has been passing on some of the success she’s had through the website. Through the IPS Educational Foundation, she has conducted professional development classes for other teachers on how to use DonorsChoose.org. Further, she has created a giving page called “Music Makes Our Students Smarter” through DonorsChoose.org that has collected over $225,000 to help music teachers and classes across the country, which is the most money raised by any giving page started by a teacher on the website!
IPS is proud to have such an outstanding teacher as Mrs. Henry guiding our students musically and teaching the rest of us about never giving up on a good cause in the process!