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article imageStephen Colbert gives over $500K to schools in South Carolina

By Owen Weldon     May 8, 2015 in Lifestyle
Late night host and comedian Stephen Colbert announced that he would fund every classroom project request made by public schools in South Carolina.
Colbert said he would fund the requests via DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunding site. Lisa Gillard, the budget facilitator for Greenville's Alexander Elementary School, said that requests at the school range from dodge balls to erasers, as well as books and pencils.
Colbert's offer has totaled $800,000, which will fund around 900 projects for more than 800 teachers at more than 300 schools.
Damon Qualls, a teacher at Alexander Elementary School in Greenville, joined Colbert for the announcement, which was made in New York earlier this week. Qualls has had 126 projects funded on the crowdfunding site, and that includes five projects from the announcement.
Qualls said that he was shocked, and that this meant so much to students and teachers in the state. He said that the projects funded by Colbert are going to make a huge difference in the classroom.
Colbert said part of the reason why he was inspired to do this because he attended public schools in South Carolina.
The state spends around 10 percent less per student than before the recession hit, and some of the requests teachers make are for supplies that some of the wealthier schools take for granted. For example, a high-poverty school in North Charleston needed $60 worth of vocabulary flash cards, as well as a $7 roll of tape. Another high poverty school in the town of Cope needed calculators, while another one in Greenville needed pencils.
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