Because of the generosity of comedian Stephen Colbert, students at 28 schools in York, Chester and Lancaster counties – and even the homeless in Rock Hill – will benefit from his donation to South Carolina schools.
Colbert, with the Share Fair Nation, an initiative created by The Morgridge Family Foundation of Denver and ScanSource, contributed about $800,000 to fund all the South Carolina school projects on the online charity site DonorsChoose.org.
More than 800 teachers and 375 schools are receiving funding.
Colbert, who grew up in Charleston, raised the funds for South Carolina classrooms by auctioning off his desk and set pieces after his show, “The Colbert Report,” ended in December. Colbert will take over the “Late Show” on CBS after David Letterman retires this year.
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Colbert and his partners either fully funded projects posted on DonorsChoose.org by teachers, or completed their funding. Many of the requests were for technology, with teachers seeking funds to bring iPad minis and Chromebooks into their classrooms. Others asked for more books. Some asked for basic supplies.
Teachers at Heath Springs Elementary in Lancaster County saw 10 technology requests funded, as well as money to buy a pottery wheel and a diffuser to try aromatherapy in a classroom. In all, Heath Springs teachers raised $15,860 through DonorsChoose.org and Colbert’s generosity.
The band at Chester Middle School is getting $2,406 to buy two flutes and two clarinets to allow more people to play.
Sarah Livingston, who teaches exceptional students at South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, got $292 to buy three rocking chairs. The chairs help calm her students who are non-verbal.
Joy Hyslop, a fourth-grade teacher at Old Pointe Elementary School in Rock Hill, had posted her “Creative Scarves” project on DonorsChoose.org. She sought $494 to teach her students how to knit scarves.
The idea came from her students, Hyslop said Thursday. She brought a scarf to school to show another teacher. The girls in her class asked her if she could help them make scarves.
A few boys asked too, she said.
She submitted the project to DonorsChoose.org for looms and yarn for her students so they could make scarves during recess. She also pitched it as a public service project because any scarves her students make will be donated to the homeless. “I want to teach them how to give back to the community,” Hyslop said.
Ten donors raised $492 dollars with Colbert and his partners contributing about $300, Hyslop said.
“Colbert’s contribution was such a nice surprise,” Hyslop said.
For Erika Long, recently named teacher of the year at Clover Middle School, Colbert’s generosity fully funded her project.
Long posted on DonorsChoose.org for the first time recently, seeking $483 to buy a new Lego robot. Her teams qualified for the state Lego robotics championship this year with an older “NXT” Lego robotic unit. The unit is the brains of the robot and students use Lego bricks and four motors to create a robot that can perform a variety of tasks.
She recently looked on the DonorsChoose.org site and was disappointed no one was contributing. That ended Thursday morning when she was notified that Colbert and his partners were funding a new “EV3” Lego robot.
The “EV3” was on her team’s wish list and it will be easier to program than their NXT. Now it’s no longer a wish.
Don Worthington • 803-329-4066
Regional DonorsChoose.org funding projects either fully funded or partially funded by Stephen Colbert and his partners.
Chester: 3 schools, $3,313
Clover: 1 school, $483
Fort Mill: 5 schools, $6,125
Lancaster: 6 schools $26,388
Rock Hill: 8 schools, $8,081
York: 4 schools, $3,067
York Preparatory Academy: $764