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Company provides $29 million for teacher projects, including several across Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Teachers who are financially squeezed for classroom supplies and textbooks are getting a giant financial boost. A large company made a multi-million dollar donation that will help school districts across Oklahoma.

Every day is like Christmas in Dirce Gillin's kindergarten class.

"If it's chalk or coloring books, they are excited and I pull out every little thing," Gillin said. "They love it and go crazy."

Mrs. G is a first-year teacher who learned early it takes a village to meet the needs of her classroom.

She was introduced to Donors Choose, a website where teachers can list their classroom needs and citizens can donate directly to those projects.

"I was like why aren't more people doing this," she said. "It's like free money basically."

To the delight of teachers everywhere, a huge announcement was made on late night television.

Steven Colbert shared Ripple, a virtual currency company, would fund 35,000 projects nationwide.

"It's the largest donation to Donors Choose in history, $29 million," Colbert said.

"We are calling this the best school day ever," said Mary Melon, the CEO of Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Oklahoma City Public Schools began partnering with Donors Choose in 2014 and has reaped the rewards ever since.

"We've taught our teachers to fish," Melon said. "So, instead of doing without, they are learning there are those in the community and outside that want to help them. It's a great feeling. It's a great day."

And, Colbert hopes one company's generosity sends a wave of inspiration across the country.

If you would like to donate, visit Donors Choose.

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