Teachers play an extraordinary role in the lives of children. They spend countless hours molding students into responsible citizens by instilling the necessary skills, principals, and shared wisdom.  Passionate, motivating, effective teachers are the foundation of quality education; and quality education opens the doors to a lifetime of opportunity. 

Unfortunately, nearly all public school teachers dig into their own pockets to pay for school supplies. It's estimated that teachers spend on average $480 a year on notebooks, pens, and other essential supplies that their students need to receive a quality education. This estimate is far more than the federal $250 tax deduction available to teachers. The federal government has yet to revise or raise the deduction despite the growing need. Far too many teachers are not fairly compensated or given the proper benefits to help create more compelling environments for students to excel.

Teachers Share #OutOfMyPocket Examples:



We are honored to pay tribute and help teachers make more positive impacts in their classroom by working with Donorschoose.org. Founded in 2000 by former public school teacher Charles Best, DonorsChoose.org helps teachers share their classroom needs with a thriving online community eager to help. Since its founding, 3.5 million people and partners have given more than $800 million to projects, reaching 30 million students.

As teachers prepared for another school year, we helped match donations for teachers incorporating project-based learning in their classrooms. Project-based learning helps students acquire in-depth knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems with more dynamic classroom activities or lessons. We are proud to have donated nearly $140K, which supported 534 teachers to educate almost 53,000 students across 480 schools.

We encourage everyone to find more ways to support their local teachers. Benjamin Franklin said it best, "An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." Teachers are the source of our knowledge, and they deserve exceptional support to help children prosper far into the future.


In 2000, Charles Best, a teacher at a Bronx public high school, wanted his students to read Little House on the Prairie. As he was making photocopies of the one book he could procure, Charles thought about all the money he and his colleagues were spending on books, art supplies, and other materials. And he figured there were people out there who'd want to help — if they could see where their money was going. Charles sketched out a website where teachers could post classroom project requests, and donors could choose the ones they wanted to support. His colleagues posted the first 11 requests. Then it spread. Today, they're open to every public school in America.

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Sean W. Couch

President & Co-Trustee at the J.W. Couch Foundation

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