By Audrey Esther and Darren Brown, News9.com INsite team
Francisca Jensen loves being a first grade teacher. When it's necessary, she says, she doesn't even mind spending her own money on school supplies because there's not much she wouldn't do for her students.
"As teachers, especially as public school teachers we're all in this together," the Wilson Elementary school teacher said.
Recently, Francisca's students needed some board games to help them learn necessary social and cooperation skills. She was ready to buy them herself but her sister, who's also a teacher, suggested she go to the web site donorschoose.org instead.
The web site works like this: teachers across the country submit proposals for needed classroom materials, then anyone can log on and choose to fund the projects he or she wants.
The Norman teacher jumped at the opportunity.
Her first graders received several boardgames in late January, just a few weeks after she submitted the proposal.
"Donorschoose.org is there to really help schools be successful and give back to the community." she said. "I just applaud them for doing that for us."
One final step in the process is for students to write simple thank you notes to the anonymous donors.
Jensen says one of the most helpful things teachers can do is communicate with other teachers, even outside their district.
"I would have never known had I not reached outside my district," she said.