Kentucky teachers utilize social media, crowdfunding to enhance classrooms

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - WAVE Country teachers are getting creative when it comes to stocking classrooms with supplies.

When state money only goes so far, lesson number one is fundraising. Social media and technology are helping them at a time when state funds may feel underwhelming for some teachers.

Those at the education crowdfunding site DonorsChoose.org said they see an increase in projects as teachers go back to school. That's something that may impact students at the J. Graham Brown School orientation.

A group of soon-to-be kindergartners are sitting in a circle learning how to beat a drum as a song plays from a computer. Rising first-grader Jackson Leonard, who now has a year under his belt, is sharing his wisdom with them Monday.

"I'm helping people answer questions about kindergarten," Leonard said. He adds he's ready to go back to school, too.

"Seeing my friends and my teachers," Leonard said, when asked about why he's excited.

Some of those teachers he's excited to see are also preparing.

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Brown School 8th grade math teacher Torri Martin said she hopes to integrate more technology into her lessons this school year.

"It engages them," Martin said. "It lets them like math a little bit more."

To do that, she's got to spend money.

"$500 is pretty much my average," Martin said. "I don't want to add up what I've done."

Martin said she appreciates all that her school gives her, and knows it faces a limited budget. So, she's reaching out for a little help to get two Chromebooks.

"You start off with talking about your students," Martin said, as she walked us through the project she launched.

Magical Math is aptly the title of her campaign on DonorsChoose.org.

Click here to see the campaign

"There's power in small numbers," Martin said. "You can put two dollars and two dollars together and you can quickly get more money."

She said teachers are now using DonorsChoose.org, GoFundMe and making Amazon wish lists to cover things the district cannot.

Employees at DonorsChoose.org said its funded $1.6 million, for more than 2,500 projects, at 145 Jefferson County Public Schools, as of November 2017.

A number Martin said truly helps her students, without hurting her wallet.

DonorsChoose.org employees said more than 60 percent of funding for projects in Kentucky comes from out of state.

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