Teachers use crowd funding website to pay for classroom tools - WNEM TV 5

Teachers use crowd funding website to pay for classroom tools

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Educators across the state and country face shrinking classroom budgets.

Stacey Horwath teaches special education at MacKensen Elementary in Bay City.

She often dips into her personal budget to provide materials for her students.

"We spend a lot of money out of our pockets and I think that's just something that teachers do and it's nice that we can have other people help us," Horwath said.

Now Horwath has turned to crowd funding. She goes online, requests help to fund a project and finds donors.

It's all done through a website called DonorsChoose.org.

"For my budget I don't have a lot of money to be able to buy things like this and these are things that help kids a lot so we're pretty excited," Horwath said.

By posting projects on DonorsChoose.org several teachers have been able to fund new materials for their classrooms.

Carrie Marciniek is also a teacher at MacKensen and she has had eight projects funded since she started using donors choose this fall.

"It's thousands of dollars of stuff that my kids can use everyday," Marciniek said.

Two of her projects were fully funded in minutes during a flash funding event inspired by Stephen Colbert.

More than 50 celebrities contributed more than $14 million to classrooms around the nation.

"It's very humbling at times because the people that are donating to your projects are people that don't know you people that are just wanting to do good," Marciniek said.

Marciniek said every dollar that's donated to her classroom is step toward a better learning experience for her students.

"It means so much to my students," Marciniek said. "There's so many things we wouldn't have otherwise. It means more than I can express really."

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