Tulsa School Benefits From Anonymous Donors

Wednesday, April 29th 2009, 9:26 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- School budgets are tight and getting tighter with the looming possibility of state budget cuts.  But, dozens of Tulsa teachers have found a new way to buy fun things for their classrooms when the school money runs out.

Some have tapped into digital donors.  For example, a composite bin in Kristine Cummings' kindergarten class was a gift from a donor the students have never met.

The bin gives the students a chance to get their hands dirty while providing lessons about biology and recycling.

"You know it's been a lifesaver. We have lots of projects that we'd like to do, but it's very costly for us to purchase the materials," said Kristine Cummings.

Kristine Cummings heard about DonorsChoose.org through another teacher. 

"We thought at first, yeah right. We're going to write grants like we normally do and never see any of the money," said Kristine Cummings.

But the money did come rolling in.

"About once a month we hear about two or three getting funded," said Kristine Cummings.

And, so did the number of teachers willing to post their wish lists online.  MacArthur Elementary has had more than 20 projects funded so far.

Donors Choose has helped MacArthur go green. They've got recycling bins in every classroom, plus a big one for plastics in the cafeteria.

"And now, parents come to me all the time telling me my child is on me all the time about recycling paper and plastics. Some of the parents complain a little and that's OK. I'll take it," said Kristine Cummings.           

The grants have helped teach the kids about preserving the planet, boosted their reading skills, and introduced them to cultures half way around the world.

Some 4th graders are learning about the ancient Japanese art of fish printing.

The gifts from the donors are appreciated.

"I think you're really awesome. Thank you for donating this stuff," said 4th grader Zarcori Nelson.