Actress and Maine native Anna Kendrick will fund 31 school projects statewide through the crowd funding website DonorsChoose.org, the website has announced.
Kendrick was one of more than 50 celebrities, athletes and business executives to join in Best School Day, a “flash mob” of philanthropy organized by Stephen Colbert that will donate more than $14 million to fund more than 11,000 projects through DonorsChoose.org.
Colbert announced the complete list Thursday morning on “CBS This Morning.” Other donors include Bill and Melinda Gates, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson.
DonorsChoose.org is a website through which educators can seek donations to fund classroom projects. So far this year, 539 classroom projects have been funded through the site in Maine, with overall donations to Maine projects topping $360,000 and reaching more than 38,000 students, the organization reports.
That continues what has been a sharp increase in classroom donations through the site to Maine schools going back to the 2011-2012 school year, when nearly $108,000 was donated. Last year, more than $434,000 was donated to Maine classroom projects through DonorsChoose.org, and this year’s figure is on pace to set a new high mark for the fourth straight year.
Kendick’s “flash funding” filled the coffers of 31 requests around the state, including about $250 for a small library of children’s books on CD for a kindergarten listening station at Durham Community School; $300 for a set of timers and an Apple TV for young students at Eddington School; another $300 for art supplies at Milo Elementary School; nearly $500 for math supplies for sixth graders at Augusta’s Lillian P. Hussey Elementary School; and about $1,000 to fund a model United Nations conference at Biddeford High School.
“I was totally shocked,” said Kelsey Frost, the Durham kindergarten teacher whose project was one Kendrick funded. “I think if you tell kids, ‘Wow, this famous movie star bought you all these books,’ … that would be a big deal to them. I was really impressed.”
The Academy Award-nominated actress and platinum-selling singer, who graduated from Portland’s Deering High School in 2003, was joined by another anonymous donor who funded an additional 43 Maine classroom requests.
“You can choose based on what’s important to you,” Kendrick said Thursday night during an appearance on Colbert’s “The Late Show” on CBS, adding, “With a matching anonymous donor, we got to cover the whole state of Maine.”
In a statement, Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org, said “teachers have a hard time providing these experiences when they have to go into their own pockets to buy school supplies.”
“We all remember special days at school, whether it was going on a field trip, doing a science experiment, or performing in a school play,” said Best. “We’re so grateful to the people who have kicked off this philanthropic flashmob, and we hope that everyone — no matter the size of their wallet — will join this act of mass generosity by supporting a classroom project and committing to make every day a #BestSchoolDay.”