DonorsChoose.org an opportunity to help teachers
Check out DonorsChoose.org, a charitable Website, to help teachers outfit their rooms. It fills a gap as school districts cut budgets.
As school budgets grow tighter, a sad result is dwindling discretionary funds to pay for classroom projects. Teachers routinely dip into their pockets to pay for classroom projects and supplies.
Educators looking to bring alive a subject or lesson spent on average $350 of their hard-earned money on school supplies and instructional materials last year, according to the National School Supply & Equipment Association.
A new effort by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation uses the power of the Internet to drive money into classrooms. Vouchers valued at $10 are available at area Starbucks to be used on DonorsChoose.org, an online charity for classrooms.
About 1,000 teachers in King County have posted project wish lists on the website. Founded in 2000, the nonprofit website connects public-school teachers in need of resources with donors. Around 118,000 public-school teachers have received funding for $46 million worth of books, art supplies, technology and other resources to help learning.
Everybody jump in. As important as education is to our collective futures, there ought to be more funders than projects in need of funding. The task is manageable: Stop by one of the county's 318 Starbucks stores, pick up a card, go online and pick a project.
Donors will find a wish list that includes things such as an American flag for a classroom whose teacher frequently had to track down one for the Pledge of Allegiance. Teachers are asking for dry erase boards, instruments and equipment. At Des Moines Elementary School, a teacher wants a camcorder and video recorder to help illuminate lessons; at another school a teacher requests books with stories as diverse as the students.
Actions can make a difference. Nearly all districts have reduced or eliminated money relied upon by teachers to pay for classroom experiments and labs. Seattle Public Schools trimmed nearly $6 million from classrooms last year.
New economic realities make DonorsChoose.org a standard resource for teachers. There is an opportunity for the public to help.
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