Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Crowdfunding is a great way to get classroom projects paid for


Scott: These Chicago fifth graders are getting a hands-on lesson in engineering by launching catapults.

Amani Abuhabsah is their teacher and says the catapults kits weren't purchased by the school system. And she couldn’t afford the materials on her own. But she got them as a gift through a site called DonorsChoose.org, where teachers post requests for classroom materials they need and anyone can help cover the cost.
Basically like crowdfunding, which is a new online trend in charity. 
Charles Best started Donors Choose fourteen years ago when he began teaching.

Charles: My colleagues and I would spend a lot of our own money on copy, paper, and pencils. And we just figured there were people out there who would want to help teachers like us if they could see exactly where their money was going.

Scott: Today more than half of all public schools in America have at least one teacher who has created a project on Donors Choose. And in response, 1.5 million people have given more than 250 million dollars.

Charles: People not only want to support public schools, but people warm to this idea of being a philanthropist, even though they might have only have five dollars to spare.

Scott: Best hopes Donors Choose will help change policies around school funding by shedding light on the needs of teachers.

Charles: We think that there's nothing like sunlight to mobilize and energize citizens to demand change of their elected officials.

Scott: To do that, Donors Choose is making all of their information public. Now anyone can see what teacher requests come from which schools.

Charles: If we can show the world that there are students in all sorts of communities who don't have the material they need for a great education, that’s going to be the first major step to doing something about it.
Scott: Scott Evans, Channel One News.

Maggie: After a project gets fulfilled on Donor's Choose, the class writes the donors thank you notes telling them all about their project. That way people can actually hear about all the good that comes from their donation. Pretty cool right?

Alright guys, that's going to do it for us. I am Maggie Rulli and we cannot wait to see you tomorrow.