While our students and staff were relaxing over spring break last month, a generous donor contributed $29 million to fund classroom projects in 16,561 schools across all 50 states. Eleven Perry Township schools were among the recipients of the good deed, provided by Ripple, a San Francisco-based startup that’s developing digital currency for faster global financial payments.
Ripple’s contribution was made to Donors Choose, a crowdfunding platform that allows teachers to list their classroom projects that need funding. The site makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need, and allows donors to give as little as $1. Once a project is fully funded, Donors Choose purchases all the requested items and ships them directly to the school. Every donor gets a thank you letter from the teacher, photos from the classroom and a report of how each dollar was spent.
Since 2000, Donors Choose has funded more than 1.1 million projects and raised more than $678 million. Of the 421,000 teachers who have had projects funded, 94 percent of them say it increased their effectiveness in the classroom.
Our teachers whose classrooms were funded were pleasantly surprised and sincerely humbled. At Perry Meridian Sixth Grade Academy alone, four classrooms received donations surpassing $20,700 to purchase classic literature, graphic novels, tool sets and a three-year subscription to Channel 1 “Daily News.” Two Mary Bryan Elementary classrooms received more than $650 in supplies, including bulletin boards and furniture like stools and special chairs to help students with learning challenges such as ADHD.
We are also appreciative of every contribution that comes from our kindhearted community members who give of their money, time and talents to make our classrooms even more productive. We value those who choose to mentor and volunteer within our schools. We are also grateful to our Perry Township Education Foundation, a grant making organization that raises funds to support innovative and creative programs to enhance learning. Since its inception it has funded more than $1.2 million in grants.
Not all of the support the foundation receives is monetary. Community Health Network is the exclusive healthcare partner of the foundation and provides a licensed nurse to work in every school clinic! Also, the foundation is always looking for active, dedicated volunteers to assist with events, planning committees or daily administrative tasks.
For more information about the foundation, visit ptef.org. To view new classroom projects that are listed on the Donors Choose site, visit donorschoose.org and search for schools by zip code.