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October 8, 2012

Local educator receives aid via online charity

MILLEDGEVILLE — Erin Smith never imagined following the same career path as her parents, who once served as educators to area youth, after seeing the struggle her parents endured financially as they tried to find ways to provide the best for their students. Today, the Baldwin County native has been teaching for the past 15 years at Creekside Elementary School, finding ways to receive monetary aid to help lay the literary foundation and make an impact in her students’ lives.

Recalling her former school days, Smith remembers following along in her reading book while her teacher read aloud. Her current class of 24 did not have the same luxuries of having multiple copies of books for each student due to budget constraints this year.

Smith decided to log onto DonorsChoose.org in late June to express the need of literacy materials in her classroom. Through generous monetary donations from individuals and education advocates across the country, Smith’s request was surprisingly fulfilled last month.

DonorsChoose.org is an online charity benefiting public school teachers across America. Educators can post classroom project requests, ranging from pencils for a poetry writing unit and violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class. Internet users can browse through project requests and give any amount of funds to help teachers reach their goal.

Smith named her project “A Book for Every Student: Priceless,” which requested 110 books, costing the project around $700 total. Books included were “The Sun Is My Favorite Star,” “You Are Weird,” “Superfudge,” “The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System,” “Moonstick” and other fiction and nonfiction second-grade favorites.

Smith recently posted her second project, “We Need the Technology Buzz,” in hopes to implement two laptops in her classroom.

For more information about the online charity or to donate to educators, visit www.donorschoose.org.

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