Did you know the average teacher spends over $600 on supplies, decoration, and other things for the classroom every school year?
In the grand scheme of things, that doesn’t seem like that much money. But when was the last time you had a corporate job and you were asked to pay for interior decorating, pens, pencils, magazines and the tools you need to do your job? I’m guessing the answer is never.
How you react if your boss came up to you and said: “Your office isn’t inviting enough to clients, please go out and get some decorations”?
But teachers are expected to do this all the time. And you know what? We don’t really mind. I would much rather my students learn in a welcoming environment, with relevant books, and sharp pencils, than in an institutional room with white cinder block walls, and nothing to break up the monotony.
That doesn’t mean I want to give everything I earn back to the school. I have kids to feed after all.
So I am eternally grateful to sites like Donors Choose, Adopt a Classroom, and even Amazon. These three sites all make it very easy for teachers to garner donations from people directly into their classrooms. Schools will always accept donations, of course, but going through these avenues ensures that the money goes directly to 1. a classroom and 2. something the teacher and students will actually us.
On Donors Choose, teachers create projects asking for specific materials. All donations to DC are tax deductible. I have utilized DC a lot in my career, I currently have a project up for some colored pencils and an Amazon Echo Dot to run our stations smoothly. I recently had a project funded for a flat screen TV for our school library to show book trailers on.
Adopt a Classroom is similar to DC. You can create projects, but you can also just donate money to a teacher. That teacher can then go into their account, and spend it when they need it. When we added our student-created magazine to the library collection, I zipped into my AAC account and ordered a magazine holder with the funds I’d gotten from a total stranger. AAC donations are also tax deductible.
Amazon is the only one of these that is not tax deductible. Though I know Amazon is working heavily on their education division, so who knows, maybe it’s coming. As a teacher and librarian, I use an Amazon Wish List to store things I would love for my classroom, but that aren’t pressing priorities. I often put dream supplies, and books for the school library on here. Our library budget is around $1000 a year, and that is definitely not enough to keep up with the new releases, so I often toss up new books or books we need to fill in a series.
So why do I have these linked on my blog? Because you never know. One of the things that makes me happiest, is when a complete stranger donates to a project. I love the support of my friends and family, and the tax deduction aspect helps too, but there’s just something awesome about a stranger caring enough about my kiddos to drop a few bucks into their education.
So I linked my pages. If you find yourself with some leftover money in your charity budget, my students and I would love your donation. If you want to donate closer to home, click through my pages, and search for someone in your neighborhood.
What is your favorite charity to give to? In addition to the ones mentioned I give to cancer research and animal rescues. I can’t wait to pay off some debt so I can give more. How about you?