MMS teacher gets creative with funding sources

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Macon Middle School teacher Philip Cope has come up with a way to provide for his classrooms when funds come up short. Recently Cope raised money on DonorsChoose.org to purchase a hard copy of “The Hobbit” for his students.

Deena C. Bouknight Contributing Writer

Ten-year teaching veteran Philip Cope, who teaches language arts to 7th and 8th graders at Macon Middle School, discovered an online site that helps him acquire books and other educational resources for his students – above and beyond what is available in his classroom. DonorsChoose was established to connect “the public to public schools,” according to the site, and Cope learned that he could use it “as a tool to allow my family, friends, and community to be a part of my classroom.”

Most recently, for example, enough funds were raised to acquire for his students a hardback set of the J.R.R. Tolkien book, “The Hobbit.” He has used DonorsChoose to fund 10 different projects since 2014. 

“I am constantly amazed by the generosity of the donor network that DonorsChoose has put together,” said Cope of the site. “The process of setting up a project is incredibly easy and usually only takes a couple of hours to complete, which is important if you are a teacher. After that, I always advertise on my personal Facebook page to drum up support. Finally, once a project is completed, [I] the teacher must submit an impact letter and a thank you package for individuals who donate.”

After “The Hobbit” was acquired for his students in November, with raised funds through DonorsChoose, Cope issued this statement to donors: “Thank you all so much for your kind donations. Without donors, friends, and family like you my job would be so much harder! I am forever thankful for your support and kindness. … thank you again for all your help! I cannot wait to show my students!”

Cope said, he is “grateful for the chance to provide students with an innovative, inviting, and accepting classroom.” He added, “From my experience, the resources I get from DonorsChoose are invaluable to my classroom teaching. The most amazing thing about the program is how so many people come together to help our county’s students. I am constantly in awe of the kindness of our community, and I am very pleased to say I am from an area where education is supported on all sides.”

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