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Syracuse teacher using goodwill online to help fund classroom projects

Public school teachers spend on average $479 out of pocket on students each year

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - More and more teachers are being forced to pay out of pocket for basic classroom needs.

A report by The National Center for Education Statistics found that public school teachers spent an average of $479 on basic school supplies, but by harnessing some goodwill online, one Syracuse teacher is trying to make up that difference.

Alicia Whitmore is a social studies teacher at Danforth Middle School.

"A lot of the time we come to a classroom that has absolutely nothing so you kind of either need to spend it out of your pocket or ask some people for donations which is what DonorsChoose gives you the ability to do," said Whitmore.

DonorsChoose is a GoFundMe type website designed specifically for teachers who are looking to get funding for unique projects that typical funding can't pay for.

Dozens of projects are currently being funded across Central New York and anyone can donate online.

Ms. Whitmore had a project funded over the summer, which netted $363 for colored pencils, poster board and new headphones for her students, which otherwise she would have had to pay for.

Currently, Whitmore is using DonorsChoose to try and buy ten tablets for a historical podcast project.

"If they don't have tools that are going to make them more engaged in what they are learning about then they're not going to learn it," added Whitmore.

To learn more about DonorsChoose projects in your area click here.

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