Dwayne Reed decided to do something a little different from the usual lesson plan prep to welcome his fourth grade class to the new year at Stenson Elementary School in Skokie, Illinois, — he made a rap video. He's made it his mission to get books and supplies to underserved kids all over the Chicago area. Reed continues to raise money via a GoFundMe account set up for him and by privately reaching out to those in his community.
According to The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, at least 31 states provided less funding per student in 2014 than they did in 2008 before the recession hit. While 2016's complete data isn't in yet, so far, more than 25 states are still providing less funding overall. Public school funding in Chicago has been notoriously low since the 2008 recession, and this year is no exception. According to district data, over 30 public schools are set to lose between $50,000 and $200,000 in funding in the 2016-17 school year. A Vox survey shows the majority of teachers spend anywhere from $200 to over $600 of their own salaries on school supplies for their students. But despite Reed's newfound fame, he – and many, many other teachers – could use a helping hand. So consider donating to him or a school near you or a teacher you might randomly encounter buying school supplies. You'll be making a huge difference — not only to that teacher, but to all the kids they teach.