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New Partnership to Provide Money for Teacher Classroom Projects | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DonorsChoose.org, Starbucks and the Road Map Project team up to help King County public school teachers

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Phone: +1.206.709.3400
Email: media@gatesfoundation.org

Community Center for Education Results
Karen Waters
Phone: +1.206.334.0822

SEATTLE -- DonorsChoose.org today announced a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Starbucks Coffee Company, and the Road Map Project to support local public school teachers throughout King County.

Starting today, King County Starbucks stores will provide free $10 DonorsChoose.org gift cards, which can be used to support requests for classroom projects and materials for local teachers. These cards will be distributed while supplies last.

More than 1,200 classroom projects are seeking funding—including requests for important classroom resources such as books, microscopes, field trips, and musical instruments. Individuals who redeem the card can choose to make an additional personal contribution through the DonorsChoose.org website.  Once the project reaches its funding goal, donors receive photos of the project taking place, a thank you letter from teacher and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent.

“We’re excited to see the impact that 100,000 King County residents can have on nearby schools. Teachers from across King County have requested hundreds of projects, and it’s amazing to see everyone in the community rising to the challenge and taking action to support teachers,” said Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org.

The DonorsChoose.org gift card campaign will benefit schools, teachers and students in the communities of the Road Map Project, a civic initiative aimed at driving major improvements in education results in the low-income communities of South Seattle and South King County. The project goal is to double the number of students in the Road Map region who are on track to graduate from college or earn a career credential by 2020.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to support classroom teachers in our region,” said Mary Jean Ryan, executive director of the Community Center for Education Results, the organization that staffs the Road Map Project. “We are focused on getting dollars to schools in communities where needs are greatest and where extra dollars can help teachers improve student achievement.”

Gift cards are funded through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has collaborated with DonorsChoose.org to support teachers in other communities across the nation, including Memphis and Hillsborough County, Fla. In addition, DonorsChoose.org recently joined with the Gates Foundation and Scholastic to launch The Teacher Wall—a virtual teacher town square featuring video clips, comments and other feedback from teachers across the country.

“Teachers have one of the most difficult and most important jobs in the world. Every day, they work to ensure that all students are learning what they need to continue their education beyond high school and get a job that will support them and their families,” said David Bley, director of the Gates Foundation’s Pacific Northwest work. “We are excited to partner with DonorsChoose.org, the Community Center for Education Results,  Starbucks to give teachers the funding and tools they need to succeed in the classroom.”

“DonorsChoose.org is an innovative charity that makes it easy for anyone to get involved to help students in need,” said Rodney Hines, director of Community Investments for Starbucks. “Now, more than ever, we need to invest in our youth and the future of King County. This program offers us the opportunity to have a very direct, very positive impact in the classroom. Our thanks to the Gates Foundation for making it possible."

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