New Jersey

Supporting Our Schools: How You Can Help a Local Teacher Build a Better Classroom

Teachers need help raising money for everything from iPads to musical instrument tuners to help their classrooms runs smoothly this fall.

What to Know

  • Our Supporting our Schools effort helps you find local teachers who are seeking donations to buy much-needed items for their classrooms.
  • Teachers are seeking everything from a model of the human skeleton for anatomy classes to sensory toys that will help students remain calm.
  • Many of the projects will help students from low-income areas.

Local teachers need the basics -- books, iPads, dry-erase boards -- to help their students succeed this fall.

As part of Supporting Our Schools, NBC10 and Telemundo 62 are highlighting local Donors Choose projects which help teachers raise funds to buy much-needed supplies for their classrooms.

On their Donors Choose pages teachers are requesting everything from markers and erasers to refrigerators for keeping student lunches cold.

"We have lunch in the room because our students struggle with the noise level in the cafeteria. With no A/C, our room gets hot," Ms. Chang wrote on her project page (teachers on the site are identified there only by their last names). "Having a refrigerator will help keep the food from spoiling, especially during the hotter days."

Chang works in an autistic support classroom at Francis Hopkinson Elementary School in Philadelphia and having students remain in the classroom during lunch helps them stay calm and focused during the period, she said. She was able to completely fund her project. 

Philadelphia teachers can also use the school district's fundraising page, Philly FUNDamentals, to raise money for their classrooms.  

Many teachers are using sites like these to help bring new technology into the classroom that can maximize students' learning potential.

“I have my kids for only 180 days, so I must act on their magnetism to computers, and provide them opportunities to learn through iPad technology whenever possible,” Mrs. Marsey, who teaches at MOT Charter School, said.

Marsey was able to completely fund her project. She was raising money to buy iPads for her Middletown, DE classroom which will help students practice multiplication and allow them to take virtual field trips.

"I am so incredibly thankful for your overwhelming support for this project!" Marsey said. "This first Donors Choose project has been quite an adventure for me, and one that I cannot wait to share with my new 2nd graders."

Other teachers are seeking items to help their students fully develop their skills. Mr. Schultz of Anthony Rossi Intermediate School in Vineland, for example, needs clip on tuners to help his band students.

“My students love music, have big dreams and work very hard to achieve them,” Schultz said. “Without this equipment there is no way for the individual student to know what corrections they need to make.”

Ms. Freeman of Camden High School in New Jersey, raised enough money for a 3-D skeleton for her anatomy class using the site. 

"This project will give my students a full understanding of anatomy using high interest life size models," Freeman said.

All of teachers featured on the Donors Choose page care deeply about their students.

“They need their daily hugs, just as much as they need their pencils, crayons and glue sticks!” Mrs. Shenenberger wrote about her Kindergarten class at Forest Hill Elementary School in Camden.

Shenenberger is seeking sensory toys, including sand and therapy putty, as well as chairs with built-in storage to create a calming corner where her students can go if they get frustrated. 

“In Kindergarten, we often have to teach social and coping skills,” Shenenberger said. “The storage box seats will be a place where the students can go for that much-needed break before their frustration gets the best of them.”

Many of the projects will help students who live in low-income areas. 

"Our students are faced with many hardships, and school is the place where they are fed, loved, protected, and made to feel safe," Ms. Smith of Aloysius L. Fitzpatrick Elementary School in Philadelphia said.

Smith's project page reports that over half her students come from low-income households. She is seeking electronic writing pads to help her students in their English and Math lessons. 

To read more about and donate to the Donors Choose Projects, click here. You can also visit the NBC10 website to find more ways to help support Supporting Our Schools.

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