Teacher Turns to Website to Fund Basic Class Supplies
DonorsChoose.org has made funding possible for Nicole Sharkey's classroom needs.
For years, Nicole Sharkey has turned online to secure funding for basic supplies for her classroom at Ridgewood High School.
Sharkey, who teaches math at the school, uses Donorschoose.org. On the website, public school teachers ask for donations for class projects, and users can choose to fund a project.
Sharkey was recently able to get pens and whiteboard markers for her class. She posted a request on Donorschoose.org, and representatives from the local branch of the national Horace Mann insurance company answered.
The company made a donation recently on one of Sharkey’s Donorschoose project pages. The donation funded 35 pens and the chains and equipment that attach them to student desks. It also fundedwhiteboard markers. The donation was valued at $240.
Sharkey said that she had problems with students being unable to find pens. Some students had to spend time fishing them out of backpacks after getting to class.
Now, thanks to the donation, Sharkey has the pens attached to the students' desks, and they’re in place for when the bell rings.
“The very day first day (students) realized they were there, it was a success,” Sharkey said.
Sharkey has used Donorschoose.org since 2008, and she’s had 34 projects funded through the site. One project funded a $2,000 smartboard. Another funded a document camera. Another funded calculators. Yet another funded paper notebooks.
Sharkey calls the notebooks “interactive notebooks.” Students take notes from a lesson on one page of the notebook and work through math problems and show they understood the lesson on the opposite page. They can also write questions down on them and submit the questions to Sharkey instead of asking verbally.
“They’re not afraid to ask anymore,” Sharkey said.
Donorschoose.org extracts a payment from donated money for its service.
However, when it comes to Donorschoose.org projects, “I’m always confident I’ll get funded,” Sharkey said.