Techniques Magazine Techniques March 2011 : Page 8

C LASSROOM C ONNEC t ION Funding Classroom Projects PhOTO BY ISTOCk.COM By Susan Reese pUBLIC SCHOOL tEACHERS IN tHE UNItED StAtES SpENt more than $1.33 billion out of pocket on school supplies and instructional materials in the 2009-2010 school year, according to the National School Supply and Equipment Association, which reports that teachers spent more than $350 on average from their own income on material for their classrooms. With school budgets growing even tighter due to our ongoing economic woes, teachers are likely to continue dig-ging into their own pockets to purchase these supplies; however, there are a num-ber of other options available to teachers for funding their classroom projects. Donations Sometimes teachers have great ideas for projects, but they don’t have the money to implement them. One of the best places to turn for help is Donors Choose. This online charity describes the way it works as “citizen philanthropy.” On the site, public school teachers from all over the country post classroom project requests—ranging from books, musical instruments and technology, to field trips and class visitors. Potential donors browse the projects and select ones they find inspiring, and then donate to them in any amount. When a project reaches its funding goal, the materials are delivered to the school. Since its founding in 2000—by a teacher of course—more than 170,000 projects have been funded and more than $70,000,000 dollars donated. Among the projects currently posted on the site are 8 Techniques March 2011

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