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Friday, February 23, 2018

Get Funded with Donor's Choose

Funding for speech therapy materials is scarce for public school speech-language pathologists. Limited funding and a large caseload often means purchasing only a handful of new materials each year. In addition, public school speech-language pathologists frequently buy their own materials in order to meet students' needs and address target goals properly. is a United States 501 non-profit organization that connects local donors with educators to fund public school classroom projects. Since it's founding in 2000 by a high school teacher, has funded over 1,000,000 classroom projects.  When I discovered, I did a little research and then started the process of creating a project of my own.

How do You Start a Project?
To start a project on, you will need to create a profile and a "classroom." Upload a picture either of yourself, or your class. Since I did not have written permission to release my students' photographs, I chose to upload a picture of an activity we did in speech therapy as my profile picture. 

After creating your classroom, describe your school, it's diversity and needs, your caseload, and your goal as a professional. I started my description with the following statement: "I provide speech therapy services primarily to children of low income families who live in poverty, are highly mobile or homeless, and have other children with special needs in their family."

What's the Next Step?
Once you have created your classroom profile you can begin developing your project. You will need to designate how many students your project will reach, what your goals are and why you need the funding. Write a strong needs statement, such as, "My students need ___ because ___." Your project statement will be read by individual donors who want to help fund projects to reach the most students possible with the strongest impact. Your project will most likely be funded by local donors familiar with your campus, faculty and community. You can then make a list of materials for your project from approved vendors (My materials were purchased from Amazon).

Once you've submitted your project draft, it will be reviewed and then posted live to the website. You will be notified when donations to your project are made. After it is fully funded, the materials will be ordered and sent to your school address. 

More About My Project
I wanted to create a project that would reach the most students on my caseload, could be used with mixed IEP groups and could be used year after year. I also wanted to create a project that fit my style of teaching. So naturally I created a project that included BOOKS.

My needs statement was simply, "My students need social skills stories that they can read during speech therapy sessions to develop the skills they need to be a good friend." I am thrilled to announce that my project was fully funded and I was able to purchase books to address personal space, impulse control, empathy, friendship, kindness, and courage.

If you need speech therapy materials, but do not have the funds, I encourage you to consider a project through

Be looking for future blog posts and products in my Teachers Pay Teachers store to supplement these amazing books.

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Lisa, SLP

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