Help Kelly teach her students

This is a perfect opportunity to welcome Diane Centolella as a guest blogger at Treated & Released. Diane and I became acquainted in the spectator stands during athletic competitions when our daughters attended Columbus School for Girls. We’ve remained friends, because somehow, as a retired psychotherapist and a retired cop, we seem to have an awful lot in common. Diane is also a writer who devotes time to her congregation and to tutoring youngsters who have difficulty learning to read.

I hope you’ll take a little of your time today to think about Diane’s request and send some encouraging wishes to her daughter, Kelly Centolella, who’s helping to improve the lives of young people in Los Angeles. If you leave a comment here, I’ll make sure they know about it.


Guest blogger: Diane Centolella

Kelly and Diane Centolella

Our daughter, Kelly, has a project she needs help with at her low-income charter school in Los Angeles. Some of you may have watched Kelly grow up in Rush Creek Village in Worthington, Ohio; or maybe she babysat for your kids when they were younger; or maybe you know her from Columbus School for Girls; or maybe you are related to her; or maybe you have heard her proud parents talk (endlessly!) about her. If so, then you know she is a hard worker and dedicated.

Here’s the scoop on her project:

After teaching seventh-grade math for two years in Teach For America at a low-income public school in Los Angeles, Kelly now teaches seventh-grade math and science in a low-income charter school in Los Angeles. She has 56 students, including several that have auditory learning disabilities—they can’t process information if they only hear it; they have to see it too. She wants to buy a document camera, which is a fancy overhead projector she can use to project anything. With a regular overhead projector she can only project stuff that is on transparency paper, but with a document camera she can do so much more. For example, if she wants to demonstrate dissecting a frog (ugh!), she can aim her camera at the frog, and the dissection will be projected and enlarged on the screen, so everyone in the classroom can see exactly what she’s doing. Kelly is asking for donations to help buy this camera, which will help all of her students learn better.

I know these are tough economic times for everyone, and it seems we are being asked for donations every time we turn around. But I personally believe that improving educational opportunities for our children and grandchildren is crucial to improving America (and the rest of the world). So, please consider making a contribution to Kelly’s class. This year, it will help 56 seventh-graders learn better, and next year it will help 56 more seventh-graders learn better, and on and on and on… Besides, it will make you feel better. I find I feel a little more hopeful about the state of the world if I actually do something to make it a little better. So, here’s your chance…

You can read more about Kelly Centolella’s project and make a donation by going to

Thanks for considering making a contribution to Kelly’s purchase of a document camera.

UPDATE: Document camera now fully funded

(posted December 10, 2008)

Kelly’s project is now fully funded. She will be able to purchase the special camera for her classroom.

If you participated in this project, thanks a lot. Kelly and her kids very much appreciate it for two reasons. First is the obvious one. They will have the new equipment that will make their learning (and teaching) a little easier. The other reason is a little less obvious but equally important. Kelly and the kids will feel the love and support of our community.

I often wonder how kids feel when they are in a school that lacks equipment and books. I imagine that must be demoralizing, and they must at least sometimes wonder if others think they aren’t very important. But today we made a difference, and the seventh-grade math and science classes at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in Los Angeles will go a little better than they did before, and the students will learn just a little more than they would have otherwise. So, thank you.

If you participated in this project, you will receive a letter from Kelly and/or the project people. If you meant to but you never quite got around to it, I am sure you know that there are many, many other projects in the schools, food pantries, hospitals, and places that also could use a little help.



5 Replies to “Help Kelly teach her students”

  1. I just received a text message from Kelly that said, “YAHOO!”

  2. I’ve cursed at minors a couple of times, Anonymous in LA, not that I’m proud of it. Your complaint doesn’t seem like it would have been a very good reason to shortchange the students who’ve been helped by having the projector in the classroom for the past three years.

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