Every year more cuts are being made to our education system putting more strain on faculty and staff. According to a survey this year by the National School supply and Equipment Association, 99.5 percent of teachers use their own money to buy basic classroom supplies averaging at about $485 a year. Even when their own paychecks are being cut, teachers are being forced to pick up the tab. Since the recession began, city, state, and federal budgets have steadily shrunk school funds, which have forced schools to cut supply budgets.

Supply cuts are only the tip of the iceberg; schools across the nation are dealing with larger class sizes, less staff, and fewer upgrades to things like computers and textbooks when students arrive in September for the new school year. Mark Egan, the associate director for government relations with the National Education Association, said in a statement “Literally every program that runs through the Department of Education is being cut by 5 percent.”

Hard Facts

• Massive cuts to early childhood education programs (pre-k and kindergarten)

• Increasing class sizes in many subjects that are overwhelming teachers and potentially damaging students’ education

• Overwhelming cuts to art, music, physical education and other subjects to be considered part of a well-rounded education

• Cuts in extra-curricular activities such as sports and band as well as academic offerings in science, foreign language, technology, and Advanced Placement subjects

• As of July 2012, local school districts had to cut 328,000 jobs nationally since 2008

• Local school districts typically have little ability to replace lost state aid on their own

• Cuts in specialized programs that serve children with development issues and special needs 

The Hope

With your help we can provide teachers with adequate amount of supplies, help fund after school programs, save faculty and staff from massive layoffs, and help the children of America have a brighter future.

Your spare change can make a difference! Consider donating to the following organizations:

You can supply schools with much-needed materials right from your computer, thanks to DonorsChoose.org. Teachers post information about projects they need funded or supplies they’d like donated; you can browse those listings and choose to give as little (even one dollar helps) or as much as you’d like. Requests range from finger-paints for autistic students to netbooks so a chemistry class can access the Internet. Once a project reaches its funding goal, DonorsChoose.org will deliver the materials to the school, and you’ll receive photos of your project taking place, a thank-you letter from the teacher and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent. If you give more than $100, you’ll also receive handwritten thank-you letters from the students.

Donating a book to a school library is as easy as reading one. At WeGiveBooks.com, by reading an online children’s book to a child you can donate books to schools in need. First, choose the literacy organization you’d like to support, then choose a children’s book from the site’s online library to read with a child and a book will be donated to your organization. You can read as many books as you want, as often as you’d like. Once the organization you’ve supported reaches its goal, you and your child will receive a personal letter of thanks for your help.

Choose a particular classroom to support with this website—it lets you browse different schools all over the country by location, school name, teacher name or other criteria. (Don’t have a preference? AdoptAClassroom.org will set you up with a school in need.) Make a donation, then 100 percent of your money will go directly to the school and teachers will use it to shop for resources and supplies. You’ll even receive an Impact Report, which outlines item-by-item, dollar-for-dollar what the teacher purchased with the donation. Throughout the year the school will send you thank-you packages and student-created artwork. If you want, you can also support the students directly by visiting the classroom or chaperoning field trips.

One 14.5 ounce can (standard soup can) filled with mixed coins can average anywhere from $12 – $45+. This amount of money can help organizations like DonorsChoose.org, WeGiveBooks.org, and AdoptAClassroom.org contribute to our public schools and classrooms.

Sound like your cause? Join Chipper and let’s make change for the better! Click on the label below to print, color, and attach to your can and start collecting your spare change!

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