Website Allows Teachers to Get Funding Help for Projects
The site allows teachers to explain what they want and why and shop for the products they need for their projects. People can go to the site to decide what they would like to fund. Materials are then sent directly to the classroom. $1.3 million has been donated to projects across the country so far. Teachers in Greene County have received $11,000.
Julie Kudrna is with Horace Mann Insurance, a corporate sponsor of donorschoose.org, which was started by a teacher in 2011. She says the program gives teachers the chance to get items they otherwise couldn't afford...
"Teachers spend every dime they have on their normal expenses and then they want things for their classroom and it's just not there."
Julia Armstrong is a humanities and technology teacher at Pipkin Middle School and has had seven projects funded on donorschoose.org--around $5,000 in all. She says it's brought amazing, innovative experiences into the classroom for her students that they otherwise wouldn't have...
"We've been able to purchase video cameras. We've been able to purchase lots of resources for the Constitution, which we put a heavy emphasis on. We've been able to get Reader's Theatre resources, lots of Flip video cameras--that's a huge thing that we've wanted to implement into our classroom."
The video cameras are used in Armstrong's project, "Court is Now in Session: Mock Trials and Public Speaking." Students conduct mock trials and record them. They also use the cameras to record commercials in which they try to persuade others to move to the 13 colonies. Armstrong says it gives her 8th graders confidence in public speaking and in other areas...
"You know, it helps with their 21st century learning skills with learning how to communicate, collaborate and critically think with one another. It's just been amazing. I've seen such gains in my students since we've been able to use these projects."
All full-time, front-line educators at public schools such as teachers, librarians, guidance counselors and school nurses--who spend at least 75% of their time working with students are eligible to request materials at donorschoose.org.
After donations are made, educators and students thank donors by posting thank you letters and pictures of the projects on the website.