Before we celebrate mothers and fathers this spring, it’s time to take a second to honor those adults who also play an important role in our lives — educators. That’s right, this Tuesday is National Teacher Appreciation Day. Beyond apples or giving shoutouts on social media with the #ThankaTeacher hashtag, if you’re looking to show teachers some love and make a difference in their classroom, here are a few ways to do so:
According to Adopt-A-Classroom, teachers spend upwards of $1,000 of their own money, adding up to $1.3 billion annually, in materials for their classroom. Through the site, you can find teachers in need in New York and across the country, searching by geography, school name, teacher or other criteria. Money may go to cover field trip costs and classroom supplies, as well as food, clothes and shoes for students in need. One-hundred percent of donations are directed to the teacher. So far, the website has raised $21.34 million, reaching 5.26 million students.
Teachers ask. You choose. That’s the motto behind this online charity, which is like Kickstarter for public school teachers trying to fund projects in the arts and sciences, as well as such basic supplies as pencils, books for classroom libraries, field trips and more. You can search by zip code to find projects near you. When projects reach their funding goals, the materials are shipped to the classroom. Donors can then see the results of their contributions through photos and letters from the teacher and students. According to the site, 94% of teachers said their funded projects increased effectiveness in the classroom. Since starting in 2000, the website has raised nearly $240 million, helping more than 11.3 million students.
Fund books, classroom supplies and even college tuition through the education portion of this online fundraising website. Campaigns run the gamut from personal donations to charity fundraising to all-or-nothing crowdfunding, so you can find a campaign you feel comfortable donating to. You can search by zip code to find a classroom in need near you. Recent New York projects range from a middle school trying to recover stolen classroom equipment to a three-day school trip to the Frost Valley YMCA. Since launching in 2010, hundreds of thousands of people have raised more than $270 million for their projects.