Be a booster: Good causes that support kids, teachers nationwide

Melissa Erickson More Content Now

September is bright and shiny with possibility as children head back to school. Hopefully, they’ve eaten a good breakfast before they slip into a new pair of sneakers and shoulder on a backpack for a full day of learning.

Will you do what you can this fall to help the next generation of world leaders? Here’s a few worthy causes to get behind that support learners and their teachers:

Teach for America

Hoping to give equal educational opportunities to all kids regardless of ZIP code, Teach For America recruits recent college graduates who commit two years to teach and effect change in low-income urban and rural public schools throughout the United States. Founded in 1989, the program strives to close the achievement gap. Find out more at

Girls Who Code

Women make up 57 percent of overall college graduates, but they account for only 12 percent of computer science graduates, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. New York-based Girls Who Code aims to close that technology gap by providing computer science education to a million young women by 2020. Learn more at


Ask a child what’s the best part of school, and some will say recess because surely it’s tough to concentrate if you’re filled with energy. Kaboom! teams up with corporate sponsors to build safe and handicapped-accessible playgrounds in communities and schools. Make healthy and active play part of a student’s day at

Better World Books

An online for-profit bookseller, Better World Books donates books or a small percentage of profits to literacy programs around the world. You can help by donating or buying used books and textbooks at

Reach Out and Read

This unique literacy program distributes books to needy children during their regular physicals, with the help of pediatricians who participate in Reach Out and Read. The organization helps develop critical early reading skills in children beginning at 6 months and serves more than 4 million children and their families annually. To donate money or gently-used books, or volunteer to staff a doctor’s office and share your love of reading, visit

Fight for Your Write

Writing is an essential tool for learning. It helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity, say the people at the pen and lighter company Bic. Sign the petition at and Bic will donate a pen or pencil to Adopt a Classroom. Visit the site for tools and activities that will make writing fun for kids.

I Have A Dream Foundation

Martin Luther King would be proud of this organization that pledges college education tuition support to children in low-income communities as well as equipping the students with the skills, knowledge and habits they need to gain entry to higher education and succeed in college and beyond. Visit

Yoobi school supplies

One for you, one for me is the goal of the Target-exclusive line of bright and colorful Yoobi school supplies. It’s pretty simple: For every Yoobi item you purchase, a Yoobi item will be donated to a classroom in need, right here in the U.S. Make a purchase at Target or at