SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Tens of thousands of teachers, including many in South Mississippi, are celebrating the #BestSchoolDay ever Wednesday after learning that a cryptocurrency company donated millions to fund projects in classrooms across the country.
Ripple, a global company used to send money digitally, donated $29 million to DonorsChoose.org, a fundraising website used by teachers to raise money classroom needs that didn't fit in the school's budget. Multiple teachers at schools across the Gulf Coast had their projects funded.
The donation by Ripple was the single largest donation ever received by DonorsChoose.org, paying off every single classroom project listed on the website. That means 35,647 requests from 28,210 public school teachers in every state now have the money necessary to carry through with the teacher's plans. A total of 16,561 public schools, which is one in six public schools in America, now have funding for books, school supplies, technology, field trips and other resources vital for learning.
"We are awestruck by the generosity of the Ripple team. Their gift will provide learning materials and experiences to more than a million students, overwhelmingly in low-income communities," said Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org in a written statement. "I doubt that there has ever been a day when more classroom dreams came true."
Not only is the donation the largest ever on DonorsChoose.org, but the nonprofit site says it could possibly be the largest ever donation of a digital asset to a single charity.
Ripple and its executives contributed the donation in XRP, a type of cryptocurrency which was then converted to U.S. dollars.
"At Ripple, we care about giving back to our community and we collectively value the importance of quality education in developing the next generation of leaders," said Monica Long, SVP of Marketing at Ripple, in a written statement. "DonorsChoose.org's track record speaks for itself — they are highly effective at improving the quality of education and the experience of teachers and students across America. We're proud to work with them to support classroom needs across the country."
The Ripple team's donation provides the ultimate culmination of #BestSchoolDay, a campaign launched in March 2016when 58 athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists funded classroom requests in cities and states covering just under half of the country.
For a limited time, as teachers generate new classroom project requests on the site, DonorsChoose.org will offer donors the option of giving to the #BestSchoolDay Fund, which will be used to support projects from teachers creating their first requests on the site. DonorsChoose.org estimates that teachers will submit at least another 135,000 classroom project requests between now and the start of the next school year.
WLOX News Now will speak with some of the teachers who received funding for their projects through the donation. Look for that story TONIGHT on WLOX-ABC and WLOX-CBS!