Monday, 31 October 2011 by Matthew Girard
Thanks to a chance encounter with a cereal box at the breakfast table, numerous Southwest Elementary students have reaped the benefits of Stacy Wonfor's creative method of giving new learning materials.
About four years ago, Wonfor was looking at a Cheerio's box when she come across information about DonorsChoose.org.
Intrigued by the organzation, which is a non-profit website where public school teachers describe specific educational projects for their students and donors can choose the projects they want to support, Wonfor checked into seeing what educational materials she could get for her students.
"I saw something about Donors Choose on the back of a Cheerio's box one morning," Wonfor said. "I decided to check it out. The first one I did was the 'Science Olympics' kit."
At the time, Wonfor was a science teacher and the kit provided students with different hands-on science projects.
"After that one I was hooked," Wonfor said. "It only takes 15-20 minutes and then all the sudden I have a project."
Four years later, Wonfor has been awarded six of the 15 donorship projects she has applied for. She has received more than $2,100 worth of donated educational materials.
"She is very motivated and she has gone out and applied for all different types of grants from all types of different sources," Southwest Elementary principal Sandra Atmar said. "If it's out there and there is a way for you to apply for it, she will do it."
Wonfor is now a fifth-grade ELA/Social Studies teacher and recently received a video camera and digital camera for use in her classroom.
"The latest one was getting a Flip video camera and a digital camera to use in the classroom," Wonfor said. "I want the kids to be able to see themselves in public speaking settings."
Wonfor is among 25 Bell County teachers who have received donations totaling more than $11,700 to fund 35 classroom projects through DonationsChoose.org.