Steven Colbert is effectively filling South Carolina public schools with iPads, gym equipment, books and other learning tools as he announced Thursday that he would fund $800,000 worth of programs, or every school funding request, in his home state. Colbert made the donations in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, according to DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunding site for teachers with funding requests.
A technology teacher at Lakeside Middle School of Inquiry and Innovation in Anderson, South Carolina, said the two Xbox Ones and game design program donated by the comedian “will enable students to learn the skills to become a game designer.” Born in South Carolina but now a New Jersey resident, Colbert made the donations with Share Fair Nation, which is run by the Morgridge Family Foundation, an educational philanthropy group, and ScanSource, a technology distributor.
“I can't express my joy, excitement, and thanks enough for your donation to my project,” the teacher, identified only as Mr. Sutton, wrote on the Web page for his funding request. “It is great to see that you share my vision for teaching 21st century skills to students. We rarely have the funding needed to provide students with the best tools available. This is a great step in making our class one of the best around.”
Colbert made the announcement Thursday afternoon in New York via a live video feed at Alexander Elementary School in Greenville, South Carolina, the Greenville News reported. The $800,000 donation will support 1,000 school projects from 800 teachers at 375 schools in South Carolina, according to the paper. Colbert, the former host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” who is taking over the “Late Show” from David Letterman on CBS in September, grew up in Charleston, South Carolina.
"I'm so excited to announce we are funding all 1,000 South Carolina projects on DonorsChoose.org today," Colbert said in a press release. "DonorsChoose.org makes it so easy to have an impact and connect directly with the teachers and students you're helping."
Colbert is on the board of DonorsChoose.org. The $800,000 was raised by Colbert selling off items from the set of “The Colbert Report,” including his desk.
"We're so grateful that Stephen, Share Fair Nation, and ScanSource could help the teachers of South Carolina in such a big and magical way today,” said DonorsChoose.org founder and CEO Charles Best.