By Ben Rodgers
SUAMICO – This Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27, the Howard-Suamico Education Foundation is making it easier than ever to have a direct impact in the classroom.
The foundation partnered with Donor Choose to launch the Choose to Give Program.
Anyone can visit donorschoose.org/hsef and view specific requests from teachers and make a donation.
Some examples include Mrs. Renard at Forest Glen Elementary who wants start a classroom library, Mrs. Maroszek at Meadowbrook who wants to have her students build a computer and learn to code on it, and Mrs. Sperber who wants more seating choices in her classroom at Bay Harbor Elementary School.
“Our education foundation is really investing in staff and students and there’s been lots of articles and research on the fact that the average teacher will spend between $500 and $600 plus out-of-pocket in a year,” said Nicole Smith, foundation executive director. “So this is one way we’re excited to support teachers and staff and get new materials in our classrooms.”
Donor Choose is a crowdfunding platform for public schools, where teachers who spend 75 percent of their time with students can make requests for what they want to see in their classrooms.
“It’s an opportunity we shared with our staff, and teachers have the option if they have a project in mind, or resources they’d really like to get in the hands of their students, they can go on their own and post a project that will detail what those resources will allow them to do with students,” Smith said.
Plus, from now until the end of 2018, the Howard-Suamico Education Foundation will donate the final 25 percent of projects up to $200.
“I think it’s absolutely going to bring new experiences, programs and options into our schools,” Smith said of Choose to Give.
Anyone can donate to any program, and because Donor Choice has numerous partnerships, some projects have a reduced goal from business donations.
If a team needs basketballs, a sponsor like Dick’s Sporting Goods can reduce the entire project cost, Smith said.
Once a project is fully funded, Donor Choice will send the requested items straight to the teachers.
Anyone who donates will receive a thank you message from the teacher along with pictures of the project results.
Those who give $50 or more receive thank yous from the students.
“That’s the really neat part about it,” Smith said. “You can pick a project or an area that you’re really passionate in supporting and you can donate directly to that project, and teachers really share what their students are going to do as a result of the donation.”
Also, all donations through the education foundation’s Choose to Give program are tax deductible.