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Local teachers use crowdfunding sites to help fund classroom ideas

A new school year means a new supply list for teachers.

A new school year means a new supply list for teachers.

On average, public school teachers spent $479 of their own money during the 2014-2015 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. But now teachers are finding new ways to check off their supply list.

Kara Adams and Ashley Hall are teachers at Belden Elementary School in Canton. Like many teachers, at one point or another they’ve reached into their own pockets to pay for school supplies.

"When you start adding things up, it does get pretty pricey," said Hall. "You know, we want the world for our kids. I just want them to be super successful because I know they can be successful."

Like Adams and Hall, teachers across the country are turning to their communities for help to fund unique classroom ideas.

"I’ve been super interested in something called "flexible seating," said Adams. "[It's] the ability for students to move while they’re learning and completing their work. When students are given a choice of where to sit, it increases their engagement and overall attentiveness and just creates a more positive environment. It goes from 'my classroom,' to 'our classroom,' and then 'total community.'"

Adams and Hall have launched donation pages on DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunding site for teachers.

"I just threw it out to the universe to see if I would be able to get the support and I did," said Adams.

A coworker’s goal was brought to life with the crowdfunding site last school year. The teacher was able to provide “wobble chairs” to the classroom as part of the flexible seating approach.

Adams' advice to share with other teachers: Don’t be afraid to share your goals.

"Share their vision with the world and I think that they’ll be surprised how many do support them, care about them and love what they’re doing in the classroom."