Teachers use crowdsourcing for school supplies

Teacher uses GoFundMe to get school supplies (VIDEO)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - School supplies do not come cheap for parents or for teachers.

Every year thousands of children go back to school without the supplies they need to succeed. That is why many educators are turning to crowdfunding for some of the basics.
Andrea Speeny, a first year 10th grade English teacher at Woodward Career Technical High School, raised more than $500 on the website GoFundMe.com to purchase binders, books and other supplies. Donations poured in from local community members and generous givers from around the world.

"I got a bunch of book bags that I'm able to pass out. This is completely full of binders that I have here and then just generic school supplies like markers, color pencils, pens, highlighters, glue sticks," said Speeny.

Eighty seven percent of the students that attend Woodward Career Technical are coming from homes with incomes well below the poverty line says Speeny but without the proper supplies, their chances of success are limited.

"You always hear teachers spend their own money on things and I had already spent some money on books and I started making a to-do list of all the things I needed and was like 'Wow! This is a lot," said Speeny.

Speeny says she also gathered supplies at a free store for teachers called Crayons to Computers. The non-profit store is specifically for teachers in low-income areas. She hopes to raise more funds through GoFundMe.com to build a classroom library full of books students can read at their leisure.

"Knowing that tomorrow I can start my first day of my entire teaching career and look around my room and say all of this is possible by all the people in your community that support you and want to see you succeed is absolutely amazing to me," said Speeny.

In 2010, GoFundMe.com says their site raised $16,493 for education, schools and learning. So far this year the site has raised $44,297,534.00 for
teachers looking to gather supplies for their students and classrooms.

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