Alice Kunce was elated to start a job as a remedial reading teacher in Arkansas. Then she arrived at her classroom and reality set in:
I walked into a classroom as a remedial reading teacher with zero books in the room and zero bookshelves. My school gave me $200. That's it. I had no working stapler. No hole puncher. One pair of scissors. No trays. I'll stop there. Let's just say that I write my name on a ton of stuff in my room because it comes out of my own pocket.
What's even more shocking is that Alice could be considered one of the lucky ones.The Harrisburg School District in Pennsylvania made headlines in 2011 when the high school didn't even have enough pencils for students to take a required state exam. Many teachers receive no funding for classroom supplies. Several online forums have tried to connect donors in America (and abroad) to help provide teachers with basic classroom items.
Reddit Gifts, part of the popular social media platform Reddit, started aiding teachers in 2012. Educators are asked to send the site a short list of what they lack. The most common items? Photocopier paper, whiteboard markers, pencils/crayons/markers, construction paper, and safety scissors for kids...
Donors Choose is an even bigger operation trying to aid America's teachers, having generated about $193m in donations for classrooms since the site was founded in 2000. Interestingly, one of the most frequently asked questions the site gets is whether it will expand to other countries (for the record, the answer is no. They still see plenty of need in the US to serve).
Read the full story on The Guardian.