OGDEN — Elementary teachers in Ogden School District have all been offered $600 to purchase additional supplies for their classrooms.
In partnership with the Real Salt Lake Foundation, the recently formed MarketStar Foundation announced a gift of $300 to each Ogden elementary teacher Monday morning at an assembly at New Bridge School. The donation is part of an expansion of the RSL Foundation’s Scoring for Schools program.
Ogden School District has a little over 300 elementary teachers in the district, so the donation will amount to more than $90,000. That donation will be matched dollar for dollar by Ogden School Foundation, enabling elementary teachers to purchase as much as $600 worth in school supplies for creative projects in their classrooms.
Ogden School District receives about $104,000 each year for teacher classroom supplies, according to Zane Woolstenhulme, business administrator for the district. This is divided among teachers based on factors like the grade level they teach and years of experience, he said in an email.
On average, each teacher receives about $145, Woolstenhulme said, though principals may provide an additional amount to each teacher using the school’s allotment of district funds, but this varies from school to school.
To receive the Scoring for Schools money, teachers simply need to list their desired supplies on the donorschoose.org, a platform similar to GoFundMe that’s built for teachers to raise funds for school and project supplies.
The MarketStar and RSL foundations use the platform to fund teacher projects, but the Ogden School Foundation began using the platform recently as well, so it’s a convenient way for both parties to contribute funds, said Jer Bates, communications director for Ogden School District.
“Teachers can use (donorschoose.org) any time they want — they don’t have to just use it for (funding requests to) the Ogden School Foundation ... they can get on there and make a request to the general public,” Bates said.
“What’s so great about (this donation) is our teachers aren’t going to have to ... make a request for it and then ... just hope that people see it and choose to respond to it and donate,” Bates continued. “In this case, they know they’ve got that $300 backing plus the $300 match.”
According to donorschoose.org, the platform also fulfills and ships the order, so there’s no question where the money is going. But Danette Pulley, executive director of the MarketStar Foundation, says that the foundation chose it for another reason.
“We have people giving to our programs from all over the United States,” Pulley said, “and so it’s really a way to help share the need of our specific teachers and students here in Ogden and to put it out there in a way that allows people way outside, beyond our reach, to connect with it — as well as to get our local community around it as well, so it’s really a way to increase the reach.”
To kick off the Scoring for Schools donation, the MarketStar Foundation provided the remaining funding needed for a donorschoose.org project at New Bridge School called Blues in the Schools, which provides harmonicas for participating students and brings in local blues musicians to visit the school and teach them about blues music.
One person who donated to that project, Allison T. Clark, is from New Orleans and wished the group of students “best wishes from the Land of Jazz” on the project’s donorschoose.org page.
This donation is an expansion of the Scoring for Schools program, which the RSL Foundation started in Alpine, Jordan and Canyons District during the 2018-2019 school year and continued this year, according to Danette Pulley, executive director of the MarketStar Foundation.
The MarketStar Foundation was officially formed in August 2019, Pulley said, and began with a donation of $1 million from Dell Loy Hanson, owner of Real Salt Lake and principal investor in MarketStar.
This year’s Scoring for Schools donation is the first major community contribution by the MarketStar Foundation. Depending on the program’s performance in its first year, the foundation may continue it, Pulley said.
Expanding educational opportunities will be one of the foundation’s strategic initiatives, Pulley said.