ST. GEORGE – With the budgets of public schools often limited, there is a website that places donations and materials directly into the hands of teachers to benefit their students.
In the world of public education, limited budgets versus the needs of the classroom is nothing new. Sometimes a teacher may even pay for classroom materials out of his or her pocket. DonorsChoose.org helps fill in the gaps created by budgetary shortfalls.
“It’s a way to get funding directly into a child’s classroom,” said Tyler May, an agent of the educator-centric insurance company Horace Mann.
May said he had seen many teachers in the Washington County School District get ipods, ipads, cameras, computers and many other items for their classrooms thanks to DonorsChoose.
DonorsChoose allows teachers to list various projects on the website and post the amount of funding they need. Potential donors then search the site for the school of their choice and see projects to which they would like to donate.
“I see it working in every school I go to,” May said.
May routinely visits with school teachers in Washington County and introduces them to DonorsChoose and local teachers have taken advantage of the website’s services
A list of local projects can be found here.
May noted many of the local projects found on DonorsChoose were in elementary schools. This was because the elementary schools did not receive the same level of funding as other schools, such as intermediate schools or high schools.
According to DonorsChoose website, the program was created in 2000 by Charles Best, a social studies teacher. He knew people wanted to donate to schools, yet “were frustrated over their lack of influence over their donations.” For example, money donated for a desired project may be directed elsewhere, or distributed among many different projects.
Best created DonorsChoose as a way for donated funding to get directly into the classroom of choice without redirection or redistribution.
Since 2000, DonorsChoose has funded 233,674 classroom projects and raised $91.9 million.
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