Wichita teachers get creative amidst budget cuts

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Some Wichita teachers are getting creative to overcome recent budget cuts.

It’s no secret, teachers often use their own money to pay for things like school supplies, but thanks to a new crowdfunding website called DonorsChoose.org, some local teachers said they may not have to.

Holly Taylor is a first grade teacher at Adams Elementary School. She prides herself on her students’ success.

“My only goal is to make sure every one in my class has an equal opportunity,” said Holly Taylor.

However, Taylor said equal opportunities are not always possible at a Title I school.

“A lot of our families have very limited resources,” Taylor said. “It breaks my heart and I think every child needs to have the same school experience whether you have money or you don’t have money.”

Taylor said she often helps pay for her student’s school supplies out of her own pocket. That way they do have equal opportunities.

“Teachers on average spend $500 to $1,000 every single school year out of their pockets,” she said.

Instead of getting down about the situation, Taylor said she and her coworkers are getting creative.

“I have probably gotten over $30,000 in items in my classroom for this school and my classroom,” she said.

Taylor said it’s all thanks to the website DonorsChoose.org. The website lets teachers from all around the nation write grants for what they may need for their classroom. Once the teachers post the grants online, people can start donating to the cause.

“My very first grant was $1,000 and I asked for school supplies, paint, paper, crayons, erasers. It was able to help me start my school year with everything that I needed and not have to ask the school or the families for anything else in the room,” she said.

Taylor said the site has also helped her purchase iPads and unconventional seating for her students.

“It has helped our school grow in so many ways and it has helped our students grow in so many ways,” she said.

Once a grant is fully funded, the recipients must submit a thank you package to the site. Taylor said the package includes a picture of her students using what the grant went toward and individual thank you notes from the kids.

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