5 Ways to Get Donations for Your Speech Room


So this week I have been trying to ready my speech room for the start of school next week. I actually went in early because I knew that my new classroom was going to need a LOT of organization and I didn't want to spend my entire teacher prep week sorting through 30 years of speech materials from the SLP before me! School budgets must have been entirely more awesome before my time, because it was an 80's speech material party in that room. From what I can tell, copy limits must also have been non-existent. But, I digress. So after spending my entire day sorting through throwing out all those boxes and papers with the very much appreciated help of my man, I came home to THIS:

A big box from Amazon was at front of my door, and to my surprise it was a gift from my Reddit donator!!! Thanks to Robert M (wherever you are) for fulfilling my Reddit teacher wish list! I opened this box and found ALL THE LAMINATING THINGS. There was card stock, laminating sheets from Scotch and Amazon (those ones in the brown boxes are Amazon laminating sheets) and even little mini laminating sheets so I can laminate every. single. thing. All my laminating dreams have come true. Well, except for a personal assistant to to print, laminate, and cut my materials... any volunteers? Anyways, this was the perfect ending to my busy (and dusty) day.

School budgets are still tight these days. At my school, the special education teachers (which includes me) get even less than the classroom teachers (who also do not get much money). It's simply not enough for all the things my students need. So here are 5 great places to get some help from some very generous people out in the world!

  1. The Reddit Teacher Gift Exchange - I participated in this for the first time this year, and, as you can tell from my excited ramblings above, it was great! It was also really easy. It is free and you just need to create a Reddit account to sign up. Then, just post your wishes (they suggest about $20 worth of wishes) and they match you up with a donor. I think this exchange is over for this year, but they host it every year beginning in August. They also have a gallery where you can look through what other teachers have received. It is really neat to see the different things teachers have been given from their donors. It makes me feel a little bit better about the world to see so many materials donated out of the kindness of people's hearts.
  2. Donors Choose - Myself and several teachers I know have used this website to help get funding for different materials. Once you sign up (it's free), you create a profile about what you teach, the grades you serve, and the school you work at. You an create a "project" for donors to help fund within 4 months. When you create a project, you will need to write a brief essay about what you need and how it will benefit your classroom. You can even list specific items through a "shopping cart" list. Last year, I did not put a lot of time into this site, but am hoping to give it more effort this year. I have seen teachers receive everything from paper and pencils to high-tech calculators and expensive book sets. I suggest making your profile more appealing to donors by putting a picture of you and your classroom (I avoid pictures of the kids for privacy violations). Use social media to help you out! You need to make people aware of your page for people to donate.
  3. Adopt A Classroom - This site is very similar to Donors Choose. Once you sign up, you can create "projects" that you are asking for help funding. The project will stay open for up to 90 days. While there is no essay required for this site when creating projects, you do need to write a description about your project. Using social media is also encouraged for this site as well to help find donors. The site also requires you to upload a picture for your account.
  4. Join your PTA - Seriously. Do it now. You won't regret it. I didn't understand the big deal about the PTA when I first started. I thought to myself that I didn't have actual kids of my own at school and therefore had no intentions of joining. But did you know that many PTAs offer financial support for teachers to purchase supplies for their classroom? Some PTAs even offer grants for continuing education. There is a small fee to join annually, but the return is well worth it. My PTA has been extremely supportive. They even help me decorate my room and put up signs for Better Hearing and Speech Month! 
  5. Apply to grants through your local community foundations - Local foundations often will give out grants to teachers for supplies and continuing education. I have applied every year for continuing education grants and have received a grant EVERY year to attend my state speech conference. My teacher friends have applied for the these same local grant programs to fund projects and have received materials for STEM labs, tablets, and character education programs. While it takes some effort to fill out the application, I think that SLPs have a good chance of receiving these grants since we work with so many grade levels and serve so many varying needs.
Have you used any of these resources? What resources do you like best to help fund your speech room?


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