Teachers turn to fundraising sites for help in classroom - FOX Carolina 21

Teachers turn to fundraising sites for help in classroom

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More and more educators are turning to crowdfunding and fundraising websites to help drum up cash for their classrooms.

It's only three weeks into the school year and students in Mia Cohen's seventh-grade English class at Kipp Academy are already hard at work.

The students are analyzing Karen Cushman's The Midwife's Apprentice, but they are also required to read their own selections. Cohen had hoped to provide the books, but doesn't have the budget for it.

"If they want to buy one of these new novels, it could be $20, $25 if it's something that's really new," Cohen said. "It is really expensive for families and that's why I wanted to do this for them."

So Cohen turned to the internet, launching her own fundraising campaign on GoFundMe, a site designed to raise money for anyone and anything.

"It gets the word out to people who might not be able to donate to you or might not hear about it," Cohen said. "And even opens up to millions of people who visit the website."

In less than two weeks, Cohen met her goal of $750. Cohen said she will use any additional money she receives to buy books for other seventh-grade classrooms.

Cohen is not alone. Laura Miguez Howarth is raising money to take students at Buena Vista Elementary School on a field trip.

"This is a great way to get extra things and not have to use their own personal funds for the classroom," Howarth said.

Howarth said sites like GoFundMe are excellent resources for teachers as well as students, many of whom come from disadvantaged homes.

"As we all know, no one likes reading something that they're not interested in, and so the greater the variety at the library, the greater the possibility that kids will be reading and become avid readers," Howarth said.

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