As some of you may already know, I’m a teacher in an urban school district. For those of you who *didn’t* know, I teach life science and am the faculty sponsor for the school’s Anime, Writing, Sci Fi and Gaming club.
I’ve occasionally griped here and elsewhere about the lack of supplies and support. Since I’ve arrived, the school hasn’t gotten any new science supplies. The students do labs with whatever I can scrape together or buy myself. Many of them are quite bright, and recycling materials is great Environmental Science practice, but there are some labs you can’t do without at least a few supplies and imagining the lab from my description only stretches so far. Since it started, the club hasn’t had a budget *nor* have their fundraising activities been approved. I volunteer my time and the kids bring in whatever they can, which is usually ‘not much’. They’d like to make things like club trips to conventions happen, but without at least a little money that’s flat impossible.
Despite what some folks would have you believe, teaching is not a lucrative profession. After paying my bills, I have a pretty small discretionary allowance each month, most of which winds up in my classroom anyhow, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the roughly three thousand a year required to keep a high school laboratory stocked. I can just about afford cleaning supplies *or* one hands-on lab every other month.
This is where I’m asking for your help. For one year (to start), I’m putting one half of all the money I earn from writing into my classroom, split evenly between stocking my lab and supporting the club. If you’ve got a dollar or two and like SteamPunk, I’ve got one here and one here (print edition of that one is included in this anthology). If you’re into Urban Fantasy, my books are here, here, and here.
Even if you don’t have a thin dime to spend, you can still help me help my students. I’ve got a pair of *free* serials at Juke Pop Serials; the more votes I get, the more I get paid each month. If you have a few minutes, go here and vote. You can actually vote once per chapter, so if you’ve got a bit of time you can put in quite a few votes. If you’ve got a few minutes more, the other serial is here. If both of them can get to the ‘top 30’ list, I get a little money each month for each. It’s not much, but every bit helps. Also, this month only, they’re having a big prize for the largest number of votes, so if I can somehow get to the top of the list, I can get enough for a lab from that alone.
Thanks for listening, and for those of you who do help out, thanks in advance for your support!