DETROIT – Detroiters looking to make a difference in local classrooms will now have twice the impact through DonorsChoose.org, thanks to a matching grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
More than 400 enterprising teachers have posted “wish lists” at DonorsChoose.org that include the supplies they need to enrich their students’ learning experience. Individuals can pick a project to fully or partially fund.
Knight Foundation is providing a dollar-to-dollar matching grant up to $100,000, to increase the impact exponentially.
“DonorsChoose.org engages the community so that Detroiters can come together to have a direct impact on classroom learning,” said Brenda Price, Detroit program director for Knight Foundation.
Several Detroit teachers have already benefitted from the program, including Lisa Black-Estes, a teacher at Osborn College Preparatory Academy.
The ninth grade Language Arts teacher estimates she spends between $50 and $100 a month out of her own pocket on supplies. Earlier this year, she used DonorsChoose.org to ask for 30 pocket dictionaries, so students can define words, find synonym and antonyms, as well as see the word used in context in sentences. Black-Estes also asked for copying supplies, since she uses a copier at her home for classroom materials.
Because the academy is a brand new school, the teachers and staff are still working on gathering the supplies they need, Black-Estes said.
“We are practically starting from scratch on everything,” Black-Estes said.
Donors came through, and Black-Estes’ students are now using their new dictionaries.
Many others are still seeking funding. Among the projects posted on the site: One third grade teacher is seeking basic paper and a book binding machine to share the work of her young authors; Another special education teacher needs parachutes, ball games and a ring toss to help students improve their motor skills, especially with cutbacks to her school’s physical education department. Each project awaits help from the community.
“DonorsChoose.org is honored to partner with Knight Foundation to help engage the community in support of these Detroit teachers,” said Charles Best, DonorsChoose.org Founder and CEO.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote community engagement and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit website connecting public school teachers in need of resources with donors. To date, 118,000 public school teachers have secured funding for $46 million in books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that their students need to learn. Through www.donorschoose.org, individuals from all walks of life have helped 2.9 million students from across the country.
Brenda Price, Knight Foundation, 313-964-1114, [email protected]
Keecia Broy, DonorsChoose.org, 404-431-4310; [email protected]