A recent study found that over 94% of teachers dip into their own pockets to buy materials for their students. And then, there’s Charles. In the year 2000, a history teacher in New York wanted additional educational resources for his classroom, but as too often happens, there wasn’t enough in the school budget to afford any extras. Inspired by the challenge, he mapped out a website where teachers could put their needs online and seek crowdfunding to meet the needs. Eleven teachers listed with him at first and the idea took off. Today, that website allows every public school in the United States to post their needs online. To date, nearly 5 million donors have funded over one billion dollars in classroom project funding through the site he created.
For American teachers, the site Charles set up nearly two decades ago is a blessing, but what about teachers outside the USA? What about teachers in refugee camps or rural areas in other countries? Like Charles in 1999, they are left on their own to make the most of what they have been given. And who suffers? The students, of course.
Help a Teacher. Change a Life
We would like to present to you an alternative. We would ask you to thoughtfully consider what we are about to share with you and ask that you think about how you might join with us in some way to change the world.
GEV has created a program we call Help our Class and we are currently preparing to launch this program to help teachers at ten selected public schools initially in the capital city of Puerto Rico to find sponsors to meet the needs they have that will allow them to provide a quality education to the students in their classrooms. In September 2017, when Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, it had a devastating effect on the island and over 100 schools were closed in the school year that followed. For the schools that picked up the extra students, resources are very limited and many teachers don't have the resources they need for their classrooms.
In modeling our program after the success of Donors Choose, the non-profit we mentioned that helps public schools in the USA assist teachers to meet the needs of their students, we have stepped up to fill similar classroom needs for the rest of the planet outside the continental United States. As this is a pilot program, we decided to start with public schools in Puerto Rico. In 2021 we will expand to classrooms in selected cities in the USA, Cambodia, Mexico, and the Philippines.
We understand that you care how efficiently your donation is being used. That's why we will show you how every dollar was spent, how you made a difference, and how grateful the students and teachers are!