HARRISVILLE -A Harrisville Elementary School teacher received new classroom furniture via an online donation from a Vienna businessman.
Teacher Holly Dukich registered a fundraising project through the online site DonorsChoose.org, which links projects with potential donors. Dukich created a project "Help Us Furnish Our New Classroom" to raise money to buy new furniture for a special needs classroom at Harrisville Elementary.
In her project description, Dukich wrote, "I provide special education services to four students in a self-contained special education classroom. We are used to being in a small area without much space to roam or just to 'get away.' My students have various sensory integration issues and by adding some new furniture into our larger classroom, I will be able to create learning centers that will allow our students to take a break from one another."
Among her requests was a four-person reading table.
Vienna resident and Horace Mann insurance agent Stan Hefner saw the project online and provided the money to purchase the new equipment.
"I gave because I wanted to help take away the burden of this teacher using her own money for this classroom project," Hefner said.
Without funding of this nature, teachers often pay for classroom materials and enhancements out of their own pockets, he said. DonorsChoose.org reports that the average teacher spends almost $500 a year on classroom supplies.
Since February 2011, Horace Mann has contributed $1.7 million to school projects nationwide through DonorsChoose.org. Full-time public school teachers, nurses and guidance counselors can participate in the program.
DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit organization that connects donors with public school teachers who need classroom materials. Hefner has been spreading the word about the website among teachers he meets while working in the schools.