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Ali Austerlitz is a former Pre-K teacher and current DonorsChoose.org Partnerships Director.

The first time I walked into my classroom, I was thrilled! It was filled with colorful carpets, little desks and chairs stacked as high as the eye could see, and boxes and garbage bags of toys and books.
Then the custodian came in.  
Little by little, he emptied the classroom of every shiny bookshelf and newish kidney table. As it turned out, Room 6 had been used as storage over the summer while the other rooms’ floors were being waxed.  By the time he was done and I had sorted through everything on my unwaxed floor, I was left with some headless dolls, mismatched pretend kitchenware, and 22 (unintentionally) wobbly chairs for my 24 Pre-K students.
There’s enough on your mind when you’re a new teacher, as you try to tackle everything from “How do I come up with an effective yet positive classroom management system?” to “What do I do if I need to go to the bathroom in the middle of class?”, all while not jamming the copy machine. The community here at DonorsChoose.org can’t do much to help if nature calls, but we are committed to making sure there are proper classroom supplies for teachers to set your classroom up for success, including dolls with heads.
The process is pretty simple: you register as a teacher on DonorsChoose.org (takes about ten minutes), and then you create what we call a project, which is a request for the materials you need. Here’s how it works:

And here are some tips from longtime DonorsChoose.org teachers:
    1. If you’re not sure what material you’ll need, check out our list of Commonly Requested Items or see what other teachers have asked for.
    2. Keep your project cost low; projects with a cost of $600 or less have the best chance of being fully funded.
    3. Post now! Our donors are especially generous during the coming weeks of the back-to-school season, so now is the perfect time to submit your request.  
Get Started
Visit our friends at Teacher2Teacher for expert advice by and for teachers!

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