Website Launched to Help Rebuild and Restart Classrooms Across Newtown

A coalition of education leaders joined in the announcement today of the creation of a donation website, DonorsChoose.org/Newtown, dedicated to supporting the classroom efforts of teachers in Newtown, Connecticut. This effort is part of an ongoing collaboration of national, Connecticut and Newtown leaders in the wake of the recent tragedy.

Contributions received through DonorsChoose.org/Newtown will give Newtown teachers the ability to fund classroom-specific projects and to buy materials such as books and shelves for a reading nook, art supplies for a mosaic or seeds for a memorial garden.

The goal of this effort is to enable Connecticut residents - and individuals throughout the United States - to offer a holiday gift of any size to the teachers of Newtown and, through them, to the district's students.

Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org stated: "At DonorsChoose.org, we believe that great teachers know best what their students need, and this is surely the case in Newtown. We're honored and humbled to provide a platform for supporting these educators."

Commissioner Stefan Pryor said: "The selfless spirit of the teaching profession is currently on display throughout the Newtown school district. In the face of profound personal grief, anxiety and challenge, these educators inspire us with their strength, resiliency and perseverance." Commissioner Pryor continued, "The teachers of Newtown know the needs of their students best. We hope that this effort will aid - modestly but meaningfully - in Newtown educators' efforts to rebuild and restart their classrooms."

"DonorsChoose.org is a wonderful way to support the teachers of Newtown," said Melodie Peters, president of AFT Connecticut. "By donating on this website people can help our teachers meet their students' needs during this difficult time."

“It is my great honor to represent the teachers of Newtown, who continue to inspire me daily,” said Tom Kuroski, president of the Newtown Federation of Teachers. “By virtue of their courage and deep love for teaching our students, they are returning to the classrooms after unspeakable horrors unfolded in one of our schools.  As we grieve and continue the work of supporting one another during this difficult time, we are grateful for these contributions that will help our teachers create the learning, enriching and caring environments for their students that they seek to provide.”

The money raised through the site will be divided equally among participating teachers in Newtown. Each teacher may use his or her allocated funds to purchase classroom materials, fund a classroom-specific project or use the funds as an opportunity to demonstrate the act of giving by donating portions of their fund to other classroom projects throughout Connecticut and/or nationwide.

Donors can give any amount towards classroom funding credits or a specific teacher-developed project that most inspires them. The community site will be live for six months, through June 20, 2013. However, any individually developed project can remain on the site for up to five months from the date on which it was created.

DonorsChoose.org vets every classroom project request, purchases the materials and ships them directly to the classroom, provides photos or the project taking place and supplies a cost report showing how every dollar was spent. As a 501(c)3 charity, donations through DonorsChoose.org are tax deductible.