Teachers turn to anonymous donors for help stocking local classrooms

Photo provided by staff

POSTED: Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 5:12pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 4:26pm

Dwindling school budgets and under-resourced districts are forcing teachers to get creative with how they stock their classrooms

Teacher Freddi Wicker had a clear vision for what she wanted her fifth graders to read and learn this year.

"It was a novel about a kid who experienced bullying at school, so it's poignant for a 10 year-old to talk about," explained Wicker, of the book she was hoping to teach from.

But the cost for buying 50 copies of the book was several hundred dollars, out of pocket, so she turned to a website called Donors Choose for help.

"Some of the things just aren't available to the school, the school just doesn't really have the resources to provide for the entire breadth of what you might need to meet your curriculums needs. And so it's great because as you're accommodating your kids needs you can really meet those needs by going through Donors Choose and saying these are the exact materials I need in order to do this well," said Wicker.

In the time it took her to make dinner, she got the $600 in funding it would take to buy the materials she needed.

"I put it on Facebook and it was funded in an hour, which was amazing because it was a $600 grant," recalled Wicker.

But she said she is not the only one who's using donor websites.

"More than half of the teachers (at my school) I am sure have used it. Of the teachers that I have talked to about this, all of them have used it. So at least half of the teachers," said Wicker.

She said while it may be a new concept, she is finding more and more that people across the country and the world are willing to dig deep to help students they may never meet.

"I knew that as far as meeting kids needs through resources went, I was going to have to be pretty creative, any teacher has to be kind of creative in how they meet their kids needs, but especially in terms of how you get books and all the way down to paper and pencils. Sometimes those things are just short, so Donors Choose, knowing about that was a big relief," said Wicker.

To find out more about Donors Choose and how you can help fund local projects click here.

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Wait a second. I happen to know from first hand experience that every school year each child is "requested" to bring enough supplies to their home room class to outfit that CLASS for an entire school year. That's EACH child... Brings enough for the CLASS... 20 (as good a number as any) children per classroom equals 20 classroom's worth of supplies per CLASS. How many home room classes are there? It's patently ridiculous for the schools to be going anywhere but the school board for more.

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