Last year’s WUHS Poetry “Slam Team,” pictured above, inspired Poetry Club advisor and academic coach, Laura Silva, to use DonorsChoose.org to get poetry texts for her students. Silva is one of 14 WUSD educators that have successfully funded classroom projects using the non-profit organization’s platform that connects public donors to public schools.
It’s no secret that teachers often spend their own money on classroom supplies for their kids. Just over 15 years ago, a public school teacher in New York wanted to change this practice. Using the internet, Charles Best, a high school history teacher, posted requests for supplies on a small website and invited members of the public to donate either the supplies themselves or the funds to cover the requests.* This website has now grown into DonorsChoose.org, a nationally recognized platform whose mission is to “connect the public to public schools.”
Today, individuals and companies from all over the world can connect with teachers and students from throughout the United States. The process is simple, educators can register a project request with DonorsChoose and then any person or company can sign into DonorsChoose.org and “shop” for projects that they believe in or that they feel that they want to support.
So far this year, 16 classroom projects from three WUSD schools have been funded using the website. The Wonderful Company and the Chevron Fuel Your School program have partnered with individual donors to fund the majority of the requests. Projects have included obtaining books, computers, STEM Lego kits, and even a 3-D printer. All supplies are put directly into the hands of students and become the property of the school so that students can benefit for many years to come.
To learn more about DonorsChoose or to support a project, visit www.donorschoose.org for more information.