All teacher projects were funded thanks to the funding of the Donors Choose campaigns. (Photo: Contributed)

A cryptocurrency company has donated $29 million to an online giving platform that allows public school teachers to post individual projects and seek donations from their classrooms.

The gift from Ripple met every teacher campaign across the country, including all open requests in Hamilton County.

From the release:

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The Community Foundation, in partnership with Hamilton County Schools, piloted a Donors Choose grant-making program for the Opportunity Zone schools earlier this year. When a campaign reached 50 percent completion, donations were matched through a $10,000 grant from the foundation. The foundation’s goal is to help ensure that students have access to the materials and learning experiences they need to be successful.

“What excites us about Donors Choose is that it allows us to engage generous donors on both a local and national scale, in order to meet needs in our community,” said Maeghan Jones, the president of the foundation. “This is just another example of the way philanthropy is evolving.”

Donors Choose has received considerable investment from national funders, but the most recent contribution, which covered all 35,000 requests in the United States, is unparalleled — and has a profound impact on Hamilton County schools: the value of projects that have now been completed amounts to more than $22,000 in Opportunity Zone schools alone.

Many projects requested funding for modular furniture to create inviting, collaborative spaces for interactive learning in the classroom, while others involved additional technology to fuel lessons in math and sciences. Almost all requests included additional books and resources for classrooms and libraries to enhance reading skills and develop capable, confident learners.

Following last week’s gift, local teachers expressed gratitude in their comments on the Donors Choose platform.

“The generosity shown in supporting this project will reach so many kids that truly need it,” wrote Ms. Chen, a teacher at Hardy Elementary School. “When reading becomes a positive activity, we can ensure that learning will continue throughout our students’ entire lifetimes. I am filled with gratitude for this community support, a genuinely wonderful investment in the future of our society.”

HCDE hopes to keep the momentum moving forward.

“While the incredible generosity of Ripple took us by surprise, the Opportunity Zone was

positioned to leverage this gift due to the work of the Community Foundation in establishing a match and recruiting teacher projects,” said John Cunningham, the Coordinator of Community Schools for HCDE. “This also means that funds are still available for further spring matches.”

Anyone who would like to donate to new teacher requests can visit www.donorschoose.com/hcdeopportunity.

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