The Community Foundation of Louisville Invests in JCPS Teachers’ Projects

by Devin Katayama on October 18, 2011

A philanthropic website is partnering with The Community Foundation of Louisville to help fund projects proposed by JCPS teachers.

The website DonorsChoose.org allows any public school teacher to post a project that needs funding to the site. Anyone can then donate to any of thousands of projects listed, said founder Charles Best. Once the project is fully funded, the teacher gets the money, he said.

“We are a platform where teachers, committed dedicated teachers, whom we think know their students better than anyone else in the system can post their best ideas for projects that will bring the subject matter to life,” said Best.

The Community Foundation of Louisville is matching up to $50,000 in donations each year for the next three years.

Any school or teacher can pitch a project, but the website makes sure high-poverty schools are always first on the list, said Best.

“So if you’re teaching at a really high poverty school, you’ve never been funded before, your project needs 50 bucks more to be completed and 10 donors have already partially funded it, you’re showing up at the very top of those 25,000 project requests,” he said.

The website uses an algorithm like Google’s to make sure low-income schools are listed at the top, he said.

Eighty JCPS teachers have funded 154 project requests so far and Best said he expects the announced partnership will increase the number of teacher requests and the number of projects funded in JCPS schools.

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