Hamilton County classroom projects eligible for $25,000 match from community foundation
Posted on 02/28/2019
Ashley Cox, English Department Head at The Howard School shows off her classroom libraryIn partnership with Hamilton County Schools, the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga is offering a district-wide $25,000 matching campaign to fund the classroom needs of Hamilton County public school teachers through DonorsChoose.org. For every donation made to Hamilton County teacher projects this year, the Community Foundation will match that donation, until the $25,000 grant is expended.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga,” said Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson. “Our teachers know our students’ unique needs better than anyone. This matching program empowers teachers by providing them the necessary resources to tailor their classroom to their students, while also giving them an opportunity to strengthen relationships within the community.”

DonorsChoose.org is an online crowdfunding platform that gives donors the opportunity to contribute directly to projects proposed by public school teachers to benefit their classrooms. Since its inception, DonorsChoose.org has facilitated more than $325,000 in donations to Hamilton County classrooms.

“What excites us about DonorsChoose.org is that it allows us to engage generous donors on both a local and national scale, in order to meet needs in our community,” said Maeghan Jones, the president of the foundation. “This is just another example of the way philanthropy is evolving.”

The matching campaign follows the success of a similar pilot program offered by the Community Foundation in 2018 for classroom projects in the Opportunity Zone of Hamilton County Schools. The $10,000 match from the Community Foundation leveraged more than $27,000 in other support. This year’s match is open to all classroom projects in Hamilton County Schools, which can be found at www.donorschoose.org/hamiltoncountyschools.

 Ashley Cox, the English Department Head at The Howard School, used last year’s DonorsChoose.org campaign to expand her classroom library.

“Creating a reading culture only happens when teachers have a wide variety of books for students to read,” Ms. Cox said. “DonorsChoose.org and the match by the Community Foundation allows teachers, like me, to create a variety of projects that ensure students have the resources they need - like books! My students are reading more than ever!"

“Chattanooga was so generous throughout last year’s campaign as they helped make 50 classroom projects possible,” said Robin Posey, the Community Foundation’s director of community impact. “We’re looking forward to seeing the impact this year’s expanded campaign will have for children and teachers throughout Hamilton County Schools.”

Teacher projects can be found online at www.donorschoose.org/hamiltoncountyschools. Donors can browse through a variety of topics including technology, flexible seating, books, experiences, and art supplies, allowing donors to put their dollars directly towards projects AND schools of their choice.

About Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga: The mission of the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga is to encourage giving and inspire action to improve lives in the Chattanooga area. The Community Foundation is a trusted community partner, serving at the intersection between ideas and action, needs and resources, donors and nonprofits. Founded in 1963, the Foundation exists to connect fund-holders' values with purpose, so that they can have a meaningful impact on the community. Central to the Foundation's mission is the stewardship of permanent assets to support local nonprofits and good work in the greater Chattanooga area. In 2018, the Community Foundation, in partnership with its fund-holders, provided $21 million in support for nonprofits working on critical community issues and helped more than 340 students attend college through its scholarship programs.

Photo: Ashley Cox, English Department Head at The Howard School shows off her classroom library.