Online School Donations

By WEEK Producer

January 7, 2011 Updated Jan 7, 2011 at 11:26 PM CDT

It takes a village to raise a child...and now thanks to one non-profit organization that village can span the world.

New's 25's Stephanie Mulvaney explains how local teachers are using a website to bring innovative learning tools to the classroom.

Kelli Higgins, a 3rd grade teacher at PL Bolin Elementary School in East Peoria received some special gifts today.

"Oh my goodness! Look at this gravity kit. We are going to do a lot of experiments related to gravity and how it affects our lives every day," Higgins.

The teacher heard about from co-workers and decided to give it a try. After a couple of hours of filling out forms and deciding on what items would best fit her class, she submitted her project request.

"I asked for some hands on kits where the kids could use them in groups to build simple machines and experiment with them so they could get hands on then just reading a text book," Higgins.

She received these gifts from donors who logged onto On this website, public school teachers can ask for donations called project requests.

Julie Gruber is the Literacy Coordinator for grades 3-5. She asked for a Flip video camera. She video taped her students doing a cold read, gave them a few days to practice and taped them again.

"They watched their cold read and then their re-read and they were really impressed and proud of themselves and I really like to see that accomplishment because it's hard for them to know they are making those gains without a visual and that gave them the visual," Gruber.

Marti Bierdeman, the 5th grade gifted class teacher asked for a lap top. Her project request can still be found on the site. Check out to find her request along with numerous others across the map.

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