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Harlandale ISD: Donors choose Rayburn teachers
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Donors choose Rayburn teachers

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Some teachers from Rayburn Elementary School logged on to the internet hoping to cash in on the generosity of strangers - and they have. Seven of them received funding for items like writing pads, books and musical instruments through DonorsChoose.org.

“Donors Choose lets teachers create projects for their individual classrooms based on whatever their needs are. They can go on, choose materials they think they need, and donors go on, see their projects and contribute to their project however much they want,” explained Dr. Cody Miller, Rayburn ES Principal.

Fourth grade teacher Brittany Garcia-Segura was one of the first teachers to use the website. She asked for help to expand the science library in her classroom and within a few weeks she had received $400. She used the money to purchase life science, earth science, and physical science books and curriculum.

Music teacher Danielle Farris recently received her donation in the form of Ukuleles. The students excitedly opened the boxes and started to test out the instruments even before all the boxes could be removed from class. Ms. Farris hopes to use the ukuleles to enrich the students’ music experience.

Other teachers like Tarah Araiza, Carol Harst, Heather Aguillon, Gabriella Rodrigues, and Sonia Garcia have also received funding through the DonorsChoose.org website. In total, all seven teachers received $3,286.18 to put back into their classrooms.

Several teachers are also using their social media savviness to get extra donations.

“Our teachers have used Facebook and Twitter… to get the word out about their project. Mrs. Farris was able to get her project completely funded in just six days because she used Facebook to let her family and friends know. They spread that, and before she knew it, her project was funded,” recounts Dr. Miller. “The nice thing is that it can be challenging to ask someone for $400 in support, but because anyone can contribute to any amount in a project, you can get 20 friends who can donate $5 each and spread it to other friends.”