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May 20, 2019

Creative Funding for the Art Classroom

By Janine Campbell

Learn how art teacher Janine Campbell uses DonorsChoose.org to give her students the supplies and resources they need.

Grades 6–8, 9–12

    Key Takeaways

    • Get tips for submitting a DonorsChoose.org project for classroom resources.
    • Capture students’ attention all year long with Scholastic Art.
    • Learn why it’s important to use current issues of Scholastic Art.

    In 2011, I did something teachers do all the time in their classrooms: I tried something new. I signed my classroom up for an online Artist Trading Card swap. Then I learned that I did not have the resources I needed to participate. Instead of getting discouraged or giving up, I signed up for DonorsChoose.org and posted a project. Little did I know that this decision would lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of supplies and experiences over the following years, transforming the work my students and I do.

    Operating with a Limited Budget

    As many art teachers know, budgeting for basics like paper, crayons and glue can use up even the most generous of funds. When making and experiencing art, we go through a lot of these supplies. Adding specialized tools, field trips or text resources like Scholastic Art magazine can be difficult—or even impossible.

    Teachers want their classrooms to be engaging, and sometimes it takes more than the basics to capture students’ attention. This is where DonorsChoose.org can help.

    Inspired Funding

    To sign up for DonorsChoose.org, teachers need to be full-time employees at a public school or public charter school in the United States and must spend at least 75% of their time with students. Buy-in for participation from school leaders, including the principal, is also essential. Teachers should outline how they envision DonorsChoose.org working as a tool for student engagement in the classroom and the school community. Projects typically get funded within 4–6 weeks. To ensure you get your subscription at the beginning of the school year, I advise submitting your proposal in the spring or summer.

    If you’re new to DonorsChoose.org, consider starting with a limited number of projects per year. This will allow for more mindful explorations of what resources students need. DonorsChoose.org does an awesome job partnering with corporations and organizations, and many projects qualify for match offers. A match helps projects get funded even faster. DonorsChoose.org will offer predictions about how likely your project is to be funded based on the total dollar amount of your request. For beginners, staying in the $200­–500 range for each project offers a greater chance for success.

    Resources for the Art Classroom

    A subscription to Scholastic Art is a perfect first project for an art teacher to post on DonorsChoose.org. Many art teachers have stacks of these magazines stored in filing cabinets, thanks to the loyal subscriptions of those who taught before them. I have used this resource since the start of my career, thanks to the investment of the retiring teacher I replaced.

    I, too, will be able to pass on a great collection I have accumulated through my own subscription when it is time for me to retire. Although I love and appreciate the older magazines, I know there is more to offer with an ongoing subscription that my students can access online at any time. It offers them age-appropriate material and the most current trends in art. This is why I have requested Scholastic Art more than once using DonorsChoose.org.

    For me, the goal is always about pushing students further. This is what led me to my first request—and what led me to seek sewing supplies, digital cameras, professional development, literacy resources from Scholastic Art and other projects that have been funded through DonorsChoose.org. My students know that I use DonorChoose.org to fund our classroom and will often advocate for its use if they see a need. They and I know that we don’t have to choose between basic supplies and amazing resources. Thanks to DonorsChoose.org and Scholastic, my students can have it all.

    Janine Campbell is a Visual Art and Design teacher at Byron Center West Middle School in Byron Center, MI. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @campbellartsoup.

    Key Takeaways

    • Get tips for submitting a DonorsChoose.org project for classroom resources.
    • Capture students’ attention all year long with Scholastic Art.
    • Learn why it’s important to use current issues of Scholastic Art.

    In 2011, I did something teachers do all the time in their classrooms: I tried something new. I signed my classroom up for an online Artist Trading Card swap. Then I learned that I did not have the resources I needed to participate. Instead of getting discouraged or giving up, I signed up for DonorsChoose.org and posted a project. Little did I know that this decision would lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of supplies and experiences over the following years, transforming the work my students and I do.

    Operating with a Limited Budget

    As many art teachers know, budgeting for basics like paper, crayons and glue can use up even the most generous of funds. When making and experiencing art, we go through a lot of these supplies. Adding specialized tools, field trips or text resources like Scholastic Art magazine can be difficult—or even impossible.

    Teachers want their classrooms to be engaging, and sometimes it takes more than the basics to capture students’ attention. This is where DonorsChoose.org can help.

    Inspired Funding

    To sign up for DonorsChoose.org, teachers need to be full-time employees at a public school or public charter school in the United States and must spend at least 75% of their time with students. Buy-in for participation from school leaders, including the principal, is also essential. Teachers should outline how they envision DonorsChoose.org working as a tool for student engagement in the classroom and the school community. Projects typically get funded within 4–6 weeks. To ensure you get your subscription at the beginning of the school year, I advise submitting your proposal in the spring or summer.

    If you’re new to DonorsChoose.org, consider starting with a limited number of projects per year. This will allow for more mindful explorations of what resources students need. DonorsChoose.org does an awesome job partnering with corporations and organizations, and many projects qualify for match offers. A match helps projects get funded even faster. DonorsChoose.org will offer predictions about how likely your project is to be funded based on the total dollar amount of your request. For beginners, staying in the $200­–500 range for each project offers a greater chance for success.

    Resources for the Art Classroom

    A subscription to Scholastic Art is a perfect first project for an art teacher to post on DonorsChoose.org. Many art teachers have stacks of these magazines stored in filing cabinets, thanks to the loyal subscriptions of those who taught before them. I have used this resource since the start of my career, thanks to the investment of the retiring teacher I replaced.

    I, too, will be able to pass on a great collection I have accumulated through my own subscription when it is time for me to retire. Although I love and appreciate the older magazines, I know there is more to offer with an ongoing subscription that my students can access online at any time. It offers them age-appropriate material and the most current trends in art. This is why I have requested Scholastic Art more than once using DonorsChoose.org.

    For me, the goal is always about pushing students further. This is what led me to my first request—and what led me to seek sewing supplies, digital cameras, professional development, literacy resources from Scholastic Art and other projects that have been funded through DonorsChoose.org. My students know that I use DonorChoose.org to fund our classroom and will often advocate for its use if they see a need. They and I know that we don’t have to choose between basic supplies and amazing resources. Thanks to DonorsChoose.org and Scholastic, my students can have it all.

    Janine Campbell is a Visual Art and Design teacher at Byron Center West Middle School in Byron Center, MI. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @campbellartsoup.

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