EDUCATION

Hundreds of local teachers surprised by big gift from Google

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Search engine giant Google surprised 276 teachers in the D.C. Metro area Thursday morning by fully funding their classroom needs through an education-based donation website.

The donations totaled roughly $232,009, according to the website DonorsChoose.org.

Similar to GoFundMe, DonorsChoose.org allows people to make contributions to education-related funding campaigns and requests. Schools or teachers can create a page on the site and ask for a specific amount of money for a specific need, such as classroom supplies, and people can donate any amount toward the cause, either by name or anonymously.

A total of 276 teachers in the D.C. area had pages on DonorChoose.org asking for monetary donations to buy classroom and school supplies, encompassing everything from exercise equipment for physical education classes to books, microscopes. computers, art supplies and more.

"We are thrilled to partner with DonorsChoose.org to support all of the classroom projects of teachers here in the Washington D.C. area. We owe a lot to our teachers and want to thank them for being a constant source of inspiration," said Jenny Backus, Google's head of policy and community partnerships.

Three-hundred and eleven projects in the local area were funded, with money going to schools in D.C., Alexandria, Arlington County, Calvert County, Charles County, Frederick County, Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Culpeper County, Fairfax County, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Spotslyvania County, Stafford County, Warren County and Jefferson County.

"We are so humbled and grateful to Google for their devotion to our teachers and students," said Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org. "This is a great day for DonorsChoose.org classrooms."

According to DonorsChoose, Google posted a message on every funded project page, letting teachers know they were part of the surprise.

In the past few months, Google has announced similar "flash funding" campaigns in the San Francisco Bay Area, Atlanta and Chicago.

In addition to their project funding initiatives, Google has also supported several DonorsChoose.org programs over the years, including the AP STEM Access program - or Advanced Placement Science, Technology, Engineering and Match - which launched over 500 new AP STEM courses at high-poverty schools nationwide.

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