Teachers use app to crowdfund classroom supplies

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The first day of the new school year is fast approaching. Teachers across the Bay Area are decorating their classrooms and buying supplies, many times with their own money. 

FOX 13 News tracked down Azure Gipson, a fourth-grade teacher at Phillip O’Brien Elementary School, who is outfitting her classroom in a safari theme this year. 

Gipson said she spent about $400 just to get started and needs more to make the classroom conducive to learning.

At the top of her list: ways to help kids relax and concentrate.

Gipson wants to buy bean bag furniture and put tennis balls on the bottom of chair legs so that kids can have some wiggle room. She also plans to attach wide rubber bands between the legs of chairs, so they can kick the band when they get antsy, and release some of their pent-up energy. 

Instead of paying for what she needs, Gipson is using a new app called donorschoose.org.

It connects teachers in need with people who can help. Teachers post their wishlist on the site, and people can make donations to help them reach their goal. 

“I think the app is a great idea,” said Krystal Sanders, a reading coach at Phillip O’Brien. “I wish I had thought of it back in the day because I have been teaching for 10 years, so I’ve spent a lot of money. “ 

The Donors Choose app also offers a nice perk. The company will throw in up to $50 for every donation that is made during the first week a teacher’s page is active. 

The page also connects the teacher to vendors where they can spend the donated money. 

Gipson just hit a home run. Her project was fully funded.

“I can’t wait for my things to arrive,” she added.