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PowerUP Jax helps teachers fund innovative projects

6:42 PM, Oct 24, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With the click of a mouse and a credit card, anyone can contribute needed funds to a teacher for a creative classroom project.

Susie Tolbert Elementary School third grade teacher Susan Burns has a project she wants to do, called "Lights, Camera, Vegetables!"

Her students have been learning how to grow vegetables and eat healthy. She wants her students to make videos of easy recipes using those vegetables and put them on the school's website. It connects school and home, and she believes it will build leadership, team building and technology skills for her students.

"Bring the wow factor into the classroom, enrich the classroom experience, and bring these real world connections, these applications of what you are learning into practice," said Burns.

She needed $750 for a camera and supplies. With the help of PowerUpJax and a click of the mouse by generous donors, she has her money and well on her way to starting her project.

"It makes me feel great! I feel pumped up. I am very grateful and excited to be moving ahead with this so much quicker than I thought it was going to be possible."

One of her students, Kimberly Mackoul, said, "I think it is going to be fun and really cool so far. If a teacher has a really good idea, people will help them."

Student Claire Huang will be able to have her relatives across the sea be able to see her work in her Jacksonville classroom.

"I think they will be proud of me and amazed," said Huang.

Jacksonville Public Education Fund President Trey Csar says it's fun to connect the community with the classroom and make things happen for kids.

"To see the creativity and the innovation that have come out of these projects," said Csar. "I mean, it is amazing to see what happens when you say to a teacher, 'what is something you always wanted to do but you haven't been able to do because of a lack of dollars?'"

"It allows everyday citizens to interact with a teacher. You don't have to be a Warren Buffet to invest in a brilliant idea. Far too often, teachers don't have the resources to do that really special creative thing that is going to motivate kids, with the help of the community we can make that happen."

Community First Cares Foundation is a sponsor of the website, and is matching the first $5,000 in contributions. The foundation is also sponsoring a new Innovation in Education Award to be presented at the annual EDDY awards where the teacher of the year is honored.

First Coast News

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