Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org, will speak on the West Virginia University campus as part of the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas on Tuesday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.
DonorsChoose.org is one of the country’s most recognizable charities. Oprah Winfrey named the organization one of her Favorite Things and Stephen Colbert sits on the board of directors. In 2011, Fast Company listed DonorsChoose.org as one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the world, the first time a charity has received this recognition.
Charles Best founded DonorsChoose.org at Wings Academy, a public high school in the Bronx where he was a social studies teacher for five years. In 2000, he thought up DonorsChoose.org during a lunch conversation with colleagues teachers like himself that experienced first-hand the scarcity of learning materials in public schools and his students volunteered to help start the organization.
DonorsChoose.org collects project proposals from public school teachers across the country. The organization posts requests on their website, where potential donors can browse potential projects and contribute as much or as little as they can to fund public school projects that inspire them. Once a project is fully funded, DonorsChoose.org delivers the materials to the school.
To-date, DonorsChoose.org has raised more than $110 million and supported more than 255,000 projects. Of that total, more than $300,000 has gone to 837 projects in West Virginia. The day of Best’s speech in Morgantown, he and staff from his New York City-based office will visit area schools that have benefitted from DonorsChoose.org.
Every member of the audience will receive a $10 gift card courtesy of DonorsChoose.org to donate to an educational project of their choosing.
The speech will be webcast live at http://webcast.wvu.edu.
Best’s talk is co-sponsored by the Center for Civic Engagement as part of WVU’s Week of Engagement. Sign language interpretation will be available at the event courtesy of the WVU Office of Disability Services.
The David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas brings key figures from politics, business, entertainment, research, sports, scholarship and culture to Morgantown to share their wisdom. Speakers in the series open doors to thoughtful discussions about important issues and facilitate the free exchange of ideas and knowledge.
The series is supported in part by the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas Endowment. Find the Festival of Ideas online at http://festivalofideas.wvu.edu. Follow each festival event on Twitter using hashtag #WVUIdeas.
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