Every ticket purchased can help a classroom.
Waiting for Superman—the hotly anticipated (and warmly debated) documentary about the problems with and solutions for our education system—arrives in theaters today. If the glowing critical reception isn't enough to get you to the cineplex, maybe this will: DonorsChoose.org will give you $15 to donate directly to a classroom.
I spoke with Julie Lacouture, director of program expansion at DonorsChoose.org, who explained how after seeing a preview screening in April, they wanted to help. From there it was just a matter of figuring out how to let viewers take action. "We compared it to An Inconvenient Truth—Davis Guggenheim's last film—which had a logical first step: Change your lightbulbs to CFLs. Education is harder: What is that easy first step that sends you down the path to doing other things?"
While you may not be able to found a charter school, fund a ballot initiative, or influence your school board, improving a classroom directly through an online donation can be a powerful catalyst (she told me 70 percent of the people who use the site are first-time donors to public education, and half want to be more involved in improving schools). "We think making a donation to a classroom is the equivalent to changing your light bulbs," Lacouture said. "It's not the ending; people don't feel absolved. But it is the first step."
In order to get in on the promotion, all you have to do is show up to a movie theater in New York or Los Angeles, where you'll be handed a promo code along with your ticket purchase. "Every ticket can help a classroom," she says.
To find show times and learn more about the partnership, visit waitingforsuperman.com.