Indianapolis – Over the past five years, the Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation has partnered with DonorsChoose.org, an organization that matches innovative teacher projects with donors who support them, to put community donations directly to work in IPS classrooms. During the 2013-14 school year, the Foundation saw its most successful year yet and granted an unprecedented $100,000 in matching gifts through DonorsChoose.org. By providing the $100,000 matching grant, the IPS Education Foundation will be able to bring $200,000 worth of supplies to IPS classrooms this year.
“Thanks to the work of the IPS Education Foundation, 12,548 local students are getting even more valuable learning opportunities during the 2013-2014 school year because their teachers submitted projects at DonorsChoose.org. We’re so grateful to have the Foundation’s support on the ground in Indianapolis for the last six years, “said Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org.
“Whenever possible, we look for ways to increase our impact. Providing matching grants through DonorsChoose.org is an exciting opportunity for us,” said IPS Education Foundation Executive Director Linda Broadfoot. “Teachers ‘raise’ half of the funds for their projects on DonorsChoose.org before our match is applied, ensuring community buy-in for their project. Teachers are truly using this tool in exceptional ways. From basic school supplies to book nooks to classroom technology, this initiative helps to create better learning opportunities for IPS students and a stronger foundation for our community.”
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Another classroom to receive matching funds was Carter Bell’s music class at Rousseau McClellan School 91. With her first DonorsChoose.org grant, Bell started a World Drumming Ensemble, and the student response was much greater than she expected. She writes, “In music class, my students love anything that gets them moving– whether it is dancing or playing instruments. For many of these children, this music class is their only exposure to the arts, and they value the opportunity to participate and learn. I initially expected 25 students to participate in the ensemble, and I now have over 40 in the group. Our ensemble was so large that we needed more drums– a fantastic “problem” to have!”
Deanna Schmidt’s kindergarten and first grade classroom at the Butler Lab School 60 recently received a matching grant for plants and gardening supplies, just in time for spring. Deanna writes, “My students are currently engaged in a project on plant life cycles and these resources will help extend their learning in so many ways. By means of these materials, they will be able to explore how plants grow and seek out the answers to their own questions concerning plant life. They love exploring their natural environment, and the questions they are already asking about how plants grow and why plants grow are truly inspiring.”
Each year, the IPS Education Foundation provides funding for classroom projects in a variety of ways. In the 2012-13 school year, the Foundation distributed $70,000 in matching grant dollars to fund teacher-directed projects, such specialized curriculum, fine arts materials, and science equipment. Additionally, the Foundation also helped administer another $200,000 in directed funds. In total, these funds impacted over 10,000 students in 48 schools and 111 classrooms.
Individuals and companies interested in helping the IPS Education Foundation put money directly into classrooms may conveniently donate online at www.ipsef.org.