The Issue: Teachers Covering Supplies Out-of-Pocket
During the 2009–2010 school year, public schoolteachers spent more than $1.33 billion out-of-pocket on school supplies and instructional materials, according to an article in the Journal. Individual teachers spent an average of $356 of their own money on resources that included software and paper-based teaching aids, pencils, paper, and arts and crafts supplies. Yet, according the same article, this number is a decline from recent years. The pinch of the recession has affected teachers as much as their schools' budgets, making it more difficult for children to benefit from imaginative and engaging lessons.
The Campaign: Funding Projects for Schoolchildren
For every $10 you donate through this Grassroots campaign, you will receive online credit to use on DonorsChoose.org, thanks to matching donations from an anonymous donor. All donations up to a $100,000 total will be matched. All $10 donations will be channeled to fund to high poverty projects on the website. Donors then use this credit on the DonorsChoose.org website to fund school projects of their choice, including projects that explore 3-D printing or mathematics. Schoolteachers post these projects on the site, requesting funds form specific activities and supplies, such as museum field trips, a science-magazine subscription, or a digital camera to produce films.
Walking the halls and heading the classrooms of a Bronx high school, Charles Best, the founder of DonorsChoose.org, encountered firsthand the scarcity of teaching supplies that effects many American public schools. In 2000, he created DonorsChoose.org to help alleviate this, connecting community members directly to underfunded classrooms. Public schoolteachers post campaigns to the website, requesting funds for specific projects such as a violin recital or a biology lesson with microscopes. Donors can contribute as little as $1, and regardless of the size of their donations, they receive photos of the project in action, thank-you letters from teachers, and a cost report detailing how each donated dollar was spent. The organization also records the impact of its work through daily data reports. To date, DonorsChoose.org had raised more than $200 million dollars, supported more than 10 million students, and funded more than 400,000 projects.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand to projects big and small at the Groupon Grassroots blog.