Stephen Colbert, of the faux news show "The Colbert Report," recently stepped out of his Republican-pundit persona for just long enough to tout a favored organization: DonorsChoose.org, which connects willing givers to learning projects in need of funding.
In April, Colbert moderated an educational panel at a Manhattan high school to talk up the organization and help announce its receipt of a $4.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Prodded by Colbert, the panel explained how the website is used to generate dollars for classroom projects.
The program relies on what it calls "citizen philanthropists" to choose from an array of projects requesting support, from new LCD projectors to culinary and technology equipment. According to the Gates Foundation, the grant was provided to help DonorsChoose.org support half the cost of individual classroom projects developed by teachers to promote college readiness among students in high-need and underserved urban and rural public schools.
The foundation noted that, to date, 88,000 public and charter school teachers have used DonorsChoose.org to secure funding for $30.3 million in books, art supplies, technology and other resources for students. Details on the new grant are online; watch the full Colbert video here.