DonorsChoose.org, Gates Foundation and Stephen Colbert Team Up to Support Teachers and Promote College Readiness for All
Today's event was held at Manhattan Bridges High School in New York
City, which has benefited from three teacher-submitted projects funded
through the "Double Your Impact" initiative. Manhattan Bridges serves new
immigrants and English Language Learners - historically
academically-challenged demographics - and has consistently posted
graduation rates significantly higher than the city average, in part due to
its tailored programming for students.
"DonorsChoose.org allows people from all walks of life to help specific
classrooms directly," said Stephen Colbert. "As I endeavor to protect our
children from bears, DonorsChoose.org is protecting public school kids from
classrooms that lack the materials necessary to rigorously prepare them for
While many organizations raise funds for basic school supplies, the
DonorsChoose.org model supports specific classroom projects that are
submitted and designed by any public school teacher in the U.S. to further
defined educational goals. Under the "Double Your Impact" initiative, the
requests eligible for 50 percent funding from DonorsChoose.org through the
grant from the Gates Foundation are those that promote college-readiness.
Such projects include student trips to college campuses as well as
classroom books, SAT/ACT preparation materials, and other resources that
strengthen the learning experience.
"DonorsChoose.org has helped provide the additional materials, such as
college essay prep books, that can help teachers like me create programs
that are targeted to the unique needs of our students and get them really
excited about learning," said Elizabeth Smith, a teacher at Manhattan
Bridges High School. "My goal is to create opportunities for my students to
learn in innovative, inspiring ways. This has made all the difference in
what our students believe they can achieve."
Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit website where public
school teachers describe specific educational projects for their students,
and donors can choose the projects they want to support. After completing a
project, the donor hears back from the classroom they supported in the form
of photographs and student thank-you letters.