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Teachers crowdfunding for supplies

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The average salary for an Elementary Teacher in the state of Alabama is between $48,000 and $56,000 a year.

A salary that low makes it tough for many teachers to make ends meet at home, but what about costs when it comes to the classroom?

Well, teachers have to front the bill for those costs too. Each school year, teachers battle having to pay out-of-pocket for the many classroom essentials.

One website called www.DonorsChoose.org is working to change that.

Hailey Carter, the Tech Support Teacher at Fonde Elementary School was able to fund a complete newsroom through the website.

"We buy notebooks, paper, and pencils, then you have something like a green screen or an iPad that is a little more expensive. So, this project would definitely have not been possible without DonorsChoose," said Carter.

Elizabeth Gatlin is a fairly new teacher at Fonde Elementary. She found herself overwhelmed with classroom costs her first year, but, after putting up a few projects on the website she was well prepared for the school year.

“My classroom was ready to go with all new centers and school supplies for my kids, and that was amazing because that was money I didn’t have to spend out of my own pocket.” Said Gatlin.

Teachers not only get funding for small items like paper and pencils, many teachers use the money for things like iPads or Amazon Kindles.

I decided to put up a DonorsChoose project for a green screen, lighting, microphone equipment, a tripod, and an iPad. Within two days the whole project was fully funded," said Carter.

Other teachers ,like Sabra Kuhlman are getting creative with their Crowd Funding projects.

"I've have several projects for the garden funded some of the things you see like plants, soil, tools, and supplies for the garden club, we had that funded through donors choose. It’s so great because everyone at the school gets to benefit from it," said Kuhlman.

The teachers at Fonde hope that one day state legislation will see the need for reimbursing teachers for those out of pocket costs.

"When that day comes, I think it will be successful and helpful not only for the teachers, but, most importantly for the students. Until then, we’re going to keep going with DonorsChoose and any other way we can get funding for the classroom,” said Kuhlman.


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