Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Back to School Challenge: Give Teachers a Hand

September 14, 2012

Three billion dollars.

That’s the amount American teachers spend out of their own pockets to purchase school supplies for their students each year. With severe budget cuts, many schools can’t provide the key supplies and resources that ensure students receive the best possible education, so teachers are picking up the slack.

Fortunately, there’s a really simple way you can give these dedicated teachers a hand. Throughout the month of September, TakePart is partnering with DonorsChoose.org for our Great Back-to-School Challenge.

The Shocking Amount America’s Teachers Spend on School Supplies: A TakePart Infographic
Via: TakePart.com

Take Action: Support These Classrooms in Need with The TakePart Back-to-School Challenge
Every day we’ll be shining a light on a different classroom in need—and their excellent teachers.

Whether it’s funding for books, musical instruments, or art supplies, what all of these great projects have in common is that a little money will go a long way in helping educate hundreds of students across America.

Some of the amazing teachers in need of supplies at high-poverty schools include: 

• Mrs. Frame Needs Microscopes to Empower Little Scientists in Texas 

Frame’s young, predominantly Hispanic kids often face many challenges. More than three-fourths of the school is considered economically disadvantaged, and 42 percent have limited proficiency in English. Mrs. Frame explains: “[Science] is an area that children from disadvantaged circumstances tend to struggle with. Providing hands-on, discovery-based, scientific experiences early on will give these children critical vocabulary and understanding of…how our world makes sense through the scientific lens.

• Mrs. Whorley Needs Hands-on Math and Reading Activities for Military Kids in Tennessee

School isn't always easy for military kids. Many of them must deal with the stress of not knowing if or when their mom or dad will return. Kids in Mrs. Whorley's class know all too well what this is like. The second graders at Hazelwood Elementary School in Clarksville, Tennessee, face having one or more parent deployed. Mrs. Whorley's hope, she writes on her DonorsChoose program page, is to give students "an opportunity to enjoy their learning experience instead of being forced to sit in a classroom that provides minimal interaction and causes their mind to wonder on the absence of their deployed parent."

• Mrs. Hughes Needs Sensory Tools for Students With Autism in Kentucky

Each year, kindergarten teacher Staci Hughes has students in her class who are on the autism spectrum. These students face challenges throughout the day, and Mrs. Hughes is hoping to create an environment where they feel "comfortable, relaxed, safe, and ready to learn."

"With metal chair legs constantly scraping the hard, concrete tile floors and fluorescent lights flickering overhead," she says, "I suspect that students with ASD and ADD have to work extra hard to maintain focus and to enjoy their day." You can help transform her classroom with new sensory tools.

It’s really simple to take part: Simply click through and donate $5, $10 or $50!

To date, 88,000 public and charter school teachers have used DonorsChoose.org to secure $30.3 million in funding for books, art supplies, technology, and other resources.   And the best part? After completing a project, the donors hear back directly from the teachers and students they supported. 

Want to do your part to help them out? All it takes is the click of a mouse

 
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