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7 Ways Teachers Are Using GoFundMe to Make a Difference

Sep 27, 2017, 10:51 AM

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we wanted to celebrate seven teachers who embody the GoFundMe spirit of helping people and spreading empathy. We’re always amazed and delighted to see the creative, inspiring ways educators use our platform, and we think you’ll be impressed, too.

  1. iPads in the classroom to help ESL students learn English

Mrs. Ellis teaches English as a Second Language in a low-income school in Denver, Colo. She recognized the huge impact having iPads in her classroom could have on her students’ progress in learning to read and write English.

With no funding directly available, Mrs. Ellis turned to a GoFundMe campaign to equip her classroom with the latest technology.

With the help of 20 community members, Mrs. Ellis hit her goal and purchased the iPads. She says, “The kids were so happy to finally get their classroom iPads and use them every day for new learning! Thank you to all the donors who made this possible!”

  1. Getting kids the books they really want to readgofundme2

Stephanie Wilson’s students are ready to develop a lifetime love of reading. There’s just one hitch: it’s a challenge for these underprivileged kids to access the books they really want to read.

That’s where this Champaign, Ill. teacher is taking charge: Stephanie has started a GoFundMe campaign to buy the books her students can’t wait to read, including Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Geronimo Stilton, and Captain Underpants.

In her campaign, Stephanie says, “As a teacher I spend a lot of my own money for things in my classroom and I need help! I want to provide books that my students want to read so that they will learn to love reading! I can’t express in words how thankful I am to those of you that choose to donate!”

  1. A field trip that will create lifelong memories

gofundme3Stella Kim is a special education science teacher who wants to give her students something they rarely experience: a memorable field trip away from the classroom where they can learn, bond, and enjoy themselves.

When Stella’s Oakland, Calif. school denied her request for the field trip because of lack of funds, she took matters into her own hands and started a GoFundMe campaign.

In just 17 days, 39 donors raised $1,585—exceeding Stella’s goal. Now the field trip is booked, and these students have an exciting field trip to look forward to.

  1. An after-school “Running 4 Change” program for at-risk youth

gofundme4Two years ago, special education teacher Isaias Franco started an after-school running program called “Running 4 Change.”

The program lived up to its name: the collective GPA of Isaias’s students increased by 24%, truancy decreased by 15%, and they successfully ran the Seattle Rock & Roll half marathon.

Now Isaias and his student runners are hoping to race in the San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon on June 5. They’ve raised over $2,000 so far and are hoping to hit their goal of $10,000.

  1. Learning leadership skills on week-long trip to Yosemitegofundme5

Sarah Gzesh wants take her students on an ambitious trip to fulfil her Hayward, Calif. school’s mission: to develop leadership skills in all students as they prepare for college.

On a week-long trip to Yosemite, 40 high school juniors and seniors will learn to give back by volunteering at the national park and increase their appreciation of the natural world—all while taking a break from constantly checking their phones.

In just 10 days, community members stepped up and fully funded this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

  1. First grade trip to the San Diego Zoo Safari Parkgofundme6

Lauren Brill and Jennifer Valenzuela spent a month teaching kindergartners and first graders about rainforest and African savanna animals, so it’s only natural they’d want to take the kids to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to see some critters up close.

The $15 entrance fee and travel costs, however, are out of reach for many of the students’ families, a large number of which are low-income.

That’s why Lauren and Jennifer turned to GoFundMe. In just a month, they hit their goal, thanks to the generous donations of community members. We hope these lucky kids have a wild time at the zoo!

  1. Stephanie’s Science Librarygofundme7

Stephanie Sample is working hard to make sure her classroom is place where students can be exposed to all the possibilities that learning science can offer.

That’s why she wants her students to have a vibrant science library where they can explore topics at their leisure.

To say her GoFundMe campaign for this library was successful is an understatement: “Woke up this morning pretty emotional seeing the generosity of SO many people towards my GoFundMe! I have to continue to add money and items to my list due to amazing contributions (which is just going to make my classroom even more amazing with more books, plants, animals and lab equipment!) My heart is ready to explode!”


GoFundMe is a proud partner of PTA Teacher Appreciation Week 2016.