Editor’s note: Teacher Appreciation Week starts today, and we’re honored to have Charles Best, the Founder of DonorsChoose.org as our guest author. We’re big fans of DonorsChoose.org, and are proud to be longtime supporters of their model of helping teachers. Today, we’re taking that one step further in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Keep an eye on the Education page and follow along on Twitter throughout the week to see how we’re celebrating.
When I taught history in a public school in the Bronx, many of my fellow teachers had great ideas for books their students could read, field trips they would organize for students, or projects they would do in class, if only there was funding to make those ideas happen. I had a sense that people would want to help teachers like us if they could see exactly where their money was going. So with help from my students, I sketched out a site where teachers could request the exact resources they needed for their classroom, and donors of all stripes could give to the projects that inspired them. Since our founding in 2000, 3 million donors have given $680 million to fund over 1 million classroom projects.
I never could have imagined reaching this scale back in my classroom days, and Google.org has been key to our growth. Google.org shares our belief that teachers understand their students—and the resources they need to teach those students—better than anyone else. Their financial support has empowered teachers across the country to bring their ideas to life.
Since 2012, Google.org has supported 17,000 public school teachers who needed funding for their classrooms. This includes teachers like Mr. Narisetty who needed lab equipment for a new AP Physics lab, Ms. Gibson who needed funding for dolls and costumes for her kindergarteners, and Mrs. Price who requested sensory processing materials to help her students with special needs relax.
Google.org’s continued support has enabled us to pilot new ways to serve students. Back in 2012, they pioneered “Classroom Rewards,” through which teachers who launched new AP STEM courses earned $100 in classroom funding for each student who received a passing score on their AP exam. This program launched more than 500 new AP STEM classes at high schools predominantly serving students from low income families. We recently launched an open source data science project that enables developers to use machine learning to help us match donors with more relevant teacher projects.
All told, Google.org has helped bring almost 23,000 projects to life, providing around $20 million in classroom project funding. One in ten public schools in the U.S. has benefitted from this generosity.
This week, Google.org is helping us celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week by honoring what teachers want and need. Google.org is doubling donations to one category of classroom projects every day this week for a total of up to $500,000. These daily categories, like professional development, are based on the terms our teachers have searched for most on DonorsChoose.org.
We’re kicking off the week by supporting Professional Development projects, so that teachers can bring even more skills to the classroom.
Please join us by heading to DonorsChoose.org to show teachers your appreciation in a way you know they’ll love.