Just before Christmas, I included information on a project in the US where a teacher needed funds to help with books for her classroom. My friend Yvonne thought it was a great idea and wondered if there were similar projects in Canada. I promised her I would find out and today I began a google search. My first attempt yielded no results and I started to think that this would be the perfect new charity to start up because everyone knows a teacher whose classroom is underfunded! I tried again, and this time I found exactly what I was looking for right away. Guess I’ll have to wait for the next great idea to start a charity of my own.
My Class Needs Foundation is a registered Canadian charity that lets teachers all across Canada submit project ideas for various needs in their classroom. This crowdfunding platform was launched in 2012 and so far only 4 provinces are involved and the majority of projects are in Surrey, BC. Projects have to meet a list of criteria for approval and must be reported on by the teachers afterwards. If you donate to a project that doesn’t reach it’s goal, your donation is refunded in the form of a credit and you can choose a new project to fund.
Teachers submitting a project for the first time are limited to $1,000 and unfortunately, my teacher friend Catherine will be disappointed by this, you can’t ask for cash or perishable items like food. Catherine is always fundraising for her school’s lunch program.
I saw a lot of requests for iPads which put me off a bit. I’d rather donate towards books. I’m not sure why I have this bias as I do 99% of my reading on a Sony E-Reader. I’ll have to get over that perhaps. Also, in some provinces (Ontario) you can’t fundraise for textbooks anyway (it’s against their school board fundraising policies), so why not fund some iPads? I saw projects for kids with disabilities, literacy barriers and sensory processing issues. I learned a thing or two about what techniques are being used in the classroom to help kids learn. For example, I did not know that shape puzzles and toys used in math are called manipulatives!
My favorite pitch was by Mrs. Johnson from Frank Hurt Secondary in Surrey. She’s raising funds to purchase a disarticulated skeleton to guide observation in anatomy drawing.
“Natural curiosity and engagement with the human body teaches a keen sense of observation and attention to detail, allowing students to wonder where these bones belong and how the body fits together,” says Mrs. Johnson in her project description.
If you know a teacher, or have kids and are familiar with the challenges teachers face meeting their classroom needs, this kind of giving might be for you. Browse their projects and I’d love to hear if you found one worthy of your support. If you’re a teacher – I bet you have a need you could start crowdfunding for!
Good luck and Happy Pink Monday!