Delaware News

Website lets residents chip in classroom costs

Schultz teachers can register for needed items at Brighten Hall

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Having a part in what goes on in the classroom has never been easier at Schultz Elementary School.

Midway through the 2012-13 school year, Schultz formed a partnership with Brighten Hall, an online classroom registry, allowing teachers to create registries of needed or wanted items for their classrooms.

Principal Joseph Uher said the partnership with Brighten Hall is a great way for families and community members to support the classrooms.

"As a building principal, I hear feedback from people about how they would like to support what goes on in the classroom, but can't always come in and volunteer," he said.

Uher said he hears from parents who work full time, but would like to be able to take part in some way.

"This is a great way for them to participate," he said. "They can see what the classrooms are in need of and purchase it."

Teachers, like they would with a wedding registry, can browse the items on Brighten Hall, which is similar to Amazon in that it features items from multiple sellers. Once a teacher selects needed items, anyone can search online by name of teacher, school or district.

Teachers can register for anything from a pencil sharpener to instructional materials and classroom games.

"And it doesn't have to just be something a teacher can use," Uher said. "It could be something for the entire classroom, like a game for students to play during recess."

There are also other ways for teachers to get needed classroom items. There is a building budget as well as funds from the PTO.

"This is a great way for people to participate in what's going on in the classroom in a non-intrusive way that doesn't interrupt the school day, but provides needed items," Uher said.

He said he's heard many positive reactions to the program and is happy to have one more way to make sure students and teachers are getting what they need to make classroom instruction easier.

When purchases are made, teachers also receive "Brighten Bucks," which go toward more purchases.

"We have a comprehensive, multifaceted way to meet the needs of our learners," Uher said.

"This is one option for people to support our students."

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