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Donations to some CMS teachers get a $30K boost from ASC

http://66.225.205.104/SO20100126.mp3

The Arts and Science Council is teaming up with an online philanthropic clearinghouse to match donations to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. WFAE's Simone Orendain has more: The ASC and the website donorschoose.org announced they will match up to $30,000 in donations that help teachers at CMS. The website works as a clearinghouse where teachers shop online for what they need, then an outside donor pays for what's in their shopping cart. Teachers must submit descriptions of what they're looking for and note the poverty level at their school. Requests range from supplemental books to bus travel for field trips and average about $400. Alex Cerkovnik is spokeswoman for donorschoose.org's North Carolina office. She says the number of CMS teachers who participate is growing. "Last year alone we delivered about $325,000 to CMS classrooms for resources. And this year we're on track to surpass that. So prior to that we were delivering about $100,000 a year," she says. The increase came as the district had to make millions in reversions to the state. Cerkovnik says anecdotally she's heard from teachers who've said their needs are greater because of budget cuts. But she says the number of requests typically goes up as word about the website spreads. The ASC approached donorschoose.org. ASC Vice President Robert Bush says partnering with donors-choose is an ideal way to help fund teacher's individual projects. The ASC will match donations for project proposals submitted by CMS art, science and history teachers.