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'We make due with what we have' | WFAA partners with nonprofits to raise money for Texas teachers

Individual donations across Texas will be matched dollar-for-dollar to double the impact.

HOUSTON — Editor's note: This is sponsored content by TeachersCan.org.

Many teachers struggle with making sure their classrooms are adequately equipped. 

Districts can’t always provide extra resources so educators often spend their own money on supplies and other essentials.

Tomball ISD teacher Lauren Heinrich’s Wildwood Elementary classroom is colorful and engaging.

“It needs to be inviting and interactive,” said Heinrich.  

But she says it’s not cheap ensuring it “makes the grade” year after year.

KHOU11 Reporter Jason Miles asked, "Is there even a ballpark figure on how much money you may have spent in 11 years of teaching?”

Heinrich replied, "We spend well over 500 dollars just before students even get there."

She’s thankful teachers can turn to crowdsourcing sites like DonorsChoose, which helps meet specific classroom needs of vetted teachers.

“We want what’s best for your child and we are teaching your children and our future – and we do it without a budget," Heinrich said. 

This year, KHOU11 News and our parent company, TEGNA, are pitching in to help Texas teachers by hosting a telethon.

We are teaming up with DonorsChoose AND #TeachersCan -- a non-profit that partners with businesses and organizations to aid educators.

Here’s how it works:

  • All individual donations will be matched by #TeachersCan partners across Texas up to a MILLION bucks after the April 26 launch.
  • Then, through May 4th, which is Teachers Appreciation Day, TEGNA-affiliated stations across Texas will help raise an additional $500,000 dollars during a #TeachersCan-A-Thon.

Teachers don’t do what they love to get rich. And Dr. Stacey Edmonson, Dean of Sam Houston State University’s College of Education, says many realize early on that classroom expenses not covered by districts may come out of their own pockets.

“And certainly in some districts and on some campuses you see that manifested more readily than on others – some campuses really struggle to have the resources they need to do more than just the basics," said Edmonson. 

Teachers like Heinrich look beyond the basics and hope this Texas-sized effort will be a big help.

“We make do with what we have – but to know we could have more to help us in educating our future? Why not?”

For more information on how you can donate to Texas teachers, click here.

RELATED: 'I'm here because I ultimately care for these kids' | Highlighting Austin educators before Teacher's Appreciation Day

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