Wednesday November 16, 2022

Teachers Need Our Support

There are a plethora of opinions regarding education, but there are some indisputable facts. One fact is that teachers have needs for their classrooms. Another fact is that without support from other sources, teachers often use their own money to fill these needs. Thankfully, there is a platform created for teachers called DonorsChoose that is doing a great job providing this ongoing support. If any of these facts are questioned, here is some background and data:

DonorsChoose was created in 2000 by Charles Best, a teacher at a Bronx public high school. He had been thinking about all the money he and his colleagues has been spending on books, art supplies and other materials for their students. He built a website where teachers could post requests for classroom resources and started with 11 projects being posted. Since that time, DonorsChoose has vetted and filled over 2 million project requests for classroom teachers across the country.

Locally, Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation launched a partnership with DonorsChoose in 2014. Since that time, nearly $9 million has gone into OKCPS classrooms through a combination of matching programs, funding for first projects and leveraging citizen donor and national donor support. In fact, the Foundation has leveraged funding at a rate of 4:1 with other funding sources, making something great for teachers also a really great investment.

Project funding success rate is 77 percent and teachers post projects for a variety of needs, from a swing set and fun equipment for recess at Southern Hills Elementary School Soar High With Mrs. Canary | DonorsChoose project by Mrs. Canary; to social emotional learning tools at FD Moon Middle School  Spots of Emotion! | DonorsChoose project by Mrs. Wagner; to English learning board games at Wheeler Middle School  Let’s Play Together! | DonorsChoose project by Mrs. Fraire;  to flexible seating options for a special education class at John Marshall High School Mrs. D’s Fun and Flexible Learning Adventure | DonorsChoose project by Ms. Duke and hundreds of other projects.

OKCPS teachers are asking for support, as are teachers across the nation. In fact, requests are up by 65 percent this school year. School bond packages such as the OKCPS Bond slated for November 8 do not include classroom materials such as those being requested by teachers on the DonorsChoose platform.

According to data collected by DonorsChoose, teachers across the country still spend an average of $500 out of their own pockets on their classrooms each year. In addition, a recent study shows that a project funded through DonorsChoose makes a teacher 22 percent less likely to leave in a given school year. There are many ways to show support for teachers. Funding their classroom needs and allowing them to keep their hard-earned money while encouraging them to stay in their school is a rather simple yet significant way.

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Be a part of creating success in OKCPS by giving to the Foundation today.


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