Comedian Stephen Colbert is showing his appreciation of his native South Carolina's public school teachers by funding every existing grant request they have made on the crowdfunding website DonorsChoose.org.
"Using the proceeds of the sale of my old set on The Colbert Report, which we auctioned off, and with the generous matching funds from The Morgridge Family Foundation and ScanSource, DonorsChoose is going to flash-fund all 1,000 projects in South Carolina," Colbert said in a surprise live video feed May 7 at Alexander Elementary School in Greenville.
The $800,000 worth of projects were submitted by 800 teachers at more than 375 schools. Grants will pay for new books, classroom supplies, school-branded clothing and professional development for teachers.
"Enjoy your learning, South Carolina," Stephen said to a roomful of students and educators. He was speaking from a conference in New York hosted by DonorsChoose.org.
"There are going to be some happy, happy teachers across the state," said state schools Superintendent Molly Spearman. "This is Teacher Appreciation Week, so what a great way to say 'thank you teachers for what you're doing every day.' "
DonorsChoose.org accepts public donations as little as $1 for classroom projects posted by public school teachers. When a project reaches its funding goal, the organization ships materials to the school.
Jim Gold is a veteran reporter who splits his time between Seattle and the Bay Area.