Art Teacher Turns to Crowdfunding to Purchase Much Needed Books for Students

Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, Ma-TESOL; M.S. SpEd

Part of the job of an art teacher is to draw creativity out of the students – and any art teacher knows that creativity comes in many forms. One teacher in Oakland, California used her own creativity to figure out a way to purchase much needed books for her elementary school art classes.

Chelsea Flattery, an art instructor at McGregor Elementary School in Oakland desperately needed new art books for her students. They were so outdated that the 26-year-old Flattery said she recognized many of them from when she was in art classes during her own elementary school days. She said pages were often missing, covers were worn out or missing altogether, and the subject matter was simply not relevant to contemporary art education.

She decided that she had to find a way to purchase new books but her personal budget would not allow her to do so with her own money. She says she considered sending a flyer home with her students for their parents to purchase the books but decided against it because the parents were already saddled with too much material from the school.

That’s when she decided to give crowdfunding a try. She started a fund-raising campaign on an online crowdfunding website which helps organizations and individuals raise money for just about any cause for which they need funds. According to statistics, educational causes are among the most popular kinds of crowdfunding campaigns.

Flattery’s efforts raised more than $150 in just the first two days of the campaign, which was enough to buy several of the titles she wanted for her art classes. As the funds continued to come in she decided to buy more and better art books for her classes, saying that the campaign ended up “a thousand times better than I thought it would.”