OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A national website is connecting teachers on the Mississippi Coast to classroom equipment they need, but can't afford to buy. The program has offered an extra funding source for schools in Ocean Springs.
On Monday, broadcasting students at Ocean Springs High School tested new equipment that just arrived late last week.
"We were so excited and we were just ready to open the boxes up. We were ready to use them," said Ocean Springs High Senior Addison Murphy.
The school received three tripods with attached iPhone adapters, along with four small lavalier microphones. That's more than $300 worth of equipment, all donated through DonorsChoose.org.
"It really helps with the background noise and it also makes interviewing people a lot easier," said Addison.
DonorsChoose.org started in the Bronx 16-years ago and expanded nationwide in 2007. Teachers can submit their projects on the website. A team of teachers will have to approve the projects and post them on-line. Anyone can donate to the projects they support.
"It's awesome! We don't always get the funding that we need. Our school principal, they try to help us through their accounts, but sometimes they're not always able to. So when the community can put back and give to education, it just makes everything worthwhile," said Ocean Springs High Teacher Tracy Conerly.
Ocean Springs High also received a whiteboard for an algebra class. Now, the school is seeking funding for at least 30-Chromebooks, a 3-D printer, and graphing calculators.
"The donation actually goes to DonorsChoose.org, and they actually purchase the materials and ship those to the schools. It's one more step, I think, to let donors feel their money's actually being used in an appropriate way," said Ocean Springs High Assistant Principal Justin Sutton.
Donorschoose.org is open to any public school in the country. Over the years in Ocean Springs, 128 teachers in the district have received $180,000 to fund about 280 projects.
"We had a project for an algebra class. We had funders from Alabama and Florida I believe. So it's neat to see how people come from all over the nation say, 'Hey, I want to help this school.' We're better preparing our students for what's ahead, so it's absolutely fantastic!" said Sutton.
Other schools in Ocean Springs also have projects that are seeking funding. You can see the full list online: http://bit.ly/2dajugE