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Hechinger Report: Needing pencils, iPads or piccolos, teachers turn to crowdsourcing


When Patty Lee asked her kindergarten students in early October what letter had a “ba” sound, 23 little hands pressed colorful markers hard against the small dry eraser boards on their laps, connecting lines to semicircles. Lee, who teaches at Public School 251 in Brooklyn, N.Y., complimented students who showed her the letter “b” while telling others who had written a “d” to try again.

Just a few weeks earlier, this simple exercise would have been very different because Lee, like many teachers across the country, was scrambling to provide the most basic supplies, like markers, for her students. Then she turned to DonorsChoose.org, a crowdsourcing site that allows teachers to request donations for big expenses like field trips and smaller ones like paper. Lee’s colorful markers were among $400 worth of school supplies Lee bought this year—part of a remarkable $105,000 she has received through the site since 2006.Read the full story on Hechinger Report.

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