Bill Gates (and Many Teachers) Take the Ice Bucket Challenge

By Ross Brenneman — August 20, 2014 1 min read
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If you have literally any social media awareness, you might have seen all of your friends getting soaked with ice water recently. (You might have even been one of them.) For charity!

This August, the ALS Association has been promoting the Ice Bucket Challenge, in which people challenge their friends to either donate money to fight ALS, or to dump a bucket of cold water over their heads. Many do both.

ALS (amytotrophic lateral sclerosis), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that inhibits the nervous system’s motor neurons, causing victims to lose control over their movements, and, at the advanced stages, paralysis.

The ALSA campaign is working. Over the first two weeks of August 2013, the ALSA raised $1.6 million. This year, for the month of August thus far, the ALSA has raised over $31.5 million. Will that money actually go toward helping people? Well, Charity Navigator gives the ALSA four out of four stars, and ALSA’s financial breakdown shows that the bulk of its money goes toward programming, rather than administration/marketing:

Teachers across the country have been getting in on the act, too. There’s the faculty of Columbus City Schools’ Parkmoor Elementary. Teachers at Jefferson Elementary School, in Pierre, S.D., took the Ice Bucket Challenge, then challenged the entire faculty of Buchanan Elementary School, across town. At the St. Louis King of France School, in Metairie, La., teachers formed a receiving line:

Once dismissal was complete, 22 additional St. Louis King of France teachers and staff members stood in a 'receiving line.' Each person participating was doused with a bucket of ice water, then, in turn, doused the co-worker to their left with ice water, continuing right down to the end of the line.

Celebrities of all kinds have lined up, too, including Chris Pratt, George W. Bush, and education’s best philanthropist frenemy, Bill Gates:

“Now if someone would only pour ice water over the entire Gates Foundation agenda,” said critics, somewhere.*

There are thousands of other videos out there, too. It might even be a good back-to-school activity; talk about an ice breaker!

*Kidding! Kind of.

Image courtesy of ALSA

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.