P.S. 15

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in focus

community schools

New York

Teachers find speedy post-Sandy support on DonorsChoose

The basement at P.S. 15 in Red Hook was flooded with between five and seven feet of water during Hurricane Sandy, staff said. Teachers across the city and region are turning to DonorsChoose, a website that allows educators to solicit funds for small-scale projects, to get their classrooms righted after Hurricane Sandy. The site set up a dedicated page featuring only projects from schools affected by the powerful storm and so far, according to DonorsChoose's current statistics, individual donors have given more than $50,000 to projects that will reach more than 19,000 students. The quick pace of donations means that many projects are completed very soon after they are posted, giving schools an immediate boost at a time when goodwill is running high but coordination to deliver donated supplies to where they are most needed is only now being established. In one remarkable example, a science teacher at Brooklyn International High School raised $1,080 from a single donor after explaining how his students' science materials were destroyed when the school building lost power. "Unfortunately, our school cannot afford to replace the several thousands of dollars in chemicals and restriction enzymes we lost due to Sandy," he wrote. Other city teachers have gotten money to buy toys for students at P.S. 15 in Red Hook, which was flooded and has been relocated; give supplies to colleagues at a newly co-located school; replace graphing calculators for students at Staten Island's New Dorp High School. Some projects to help city schools still need funding.