A request by first grade teacher Joanne Kotlarz for two new book benches has been fulfilled, about three months after she posted the information on the online site DonorsChoose.org.
In an online response to donors about the successful fundraising effort, Kotlarz said they had brought sunshine into her classroom:
"I can't fully express my joy, excitement, and thanks for your donation to my project. I am overwhelmed by all of your generosity. My students will truly enjoy the benches. Having a comfortable place to learn and to read make a difference in the classroom.
It will be so exciting to start the New Year off with these wonderful benches. The benches will also provide quick and easy access to many of our learning tools. We are truly blessed to have such a great school, amazing community and caring business partners.
Thank you again, and I hope that each of you might find the time to visit my classroom to witness the students benefiting from your kindness and generosity.
Enjoy the warmth and sunshine of the summer months, you have brought sunshine into my classroom."
The site allows supporters to give as little as $1 for projects submitted by teachers. Kotlarz asked for donations of about $600 in late March.
Kotlarz's online request caught _school administrators by surprise in early April because the district generally must approve fundraising requests.
However, in recent email, Kotlarz said she had gotten the "okay" for the benches to be accepted.
Here's what some of the online supporters said about their donation:
- Mary Kilpatrick "Mrs. Kotlarz is an excellent teacher and we wish her luck in getting what she needs for her classroom. -The Kilpatrick Family"
- Mary Murphy: "We were lucky enough to have Mrs. Kotlarz for both of my boys, and I'm happy to help her in any way I can to get the most out of her first graders"
- Heather Fitzgerald: "We gave because we are a Chapman family, and my daughter is in her class. We know how hard Mrs. Kotlarz works for the kids and we appreciate her!"
- Ronnie Pollock: "I gave because the supplies are needed and my grandson, Ryan, is having such a wonderful year in first grade with Mrs. Kotlarz.
- Margaret Jean McKee: "I gave because my Uncle, Gordon Thayer, was once the Chairman of the School Board and I know he would be surprised that this is the situation in your classroom. And, he would want to do just what I have. Thanks to the Cheshire Patch I learned of your need."
The description of the request from March 17 explains why the book benches were needed:
"These bench/storage units will provide clean safe seating for my students with quick and easy access to important manipulative for our lessons! First graders use a variety of supplies to participate in learning. Storing those supplies and accessing them seamlessly can be a challenge."
Kotlarz said a corporate donor, Prudential Annuities, helped put the fundraising project over the top.