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W.M. Irvin teacher recipient of award

May 6–A Concord teacher was recognized this week for bringing more resources to
her W.M. Irvin Elementary classroom.

DonorsChoose North Carolina announced recipients of its first annual "A+
Educator Awards," naming Monica Burke one of five winners of its Innovator Award.

DonorsChoose is a nonprofit organization that connects public school teachers in
need of resources for their classrooms with anonymous donors.

Since launching in spring 2000, DonorsChoose has funded more than 21,100
projects and channeled $10.8 million worth of books, art supplies, technology,
field trips and other resources to classrooms.

North Carolina schools have received more than $1.2 million in donations, more
than $21,000 of which went to projects requested within Cabarrus County Schools.

The Web site currently has 31 proposals submitted by teachers working in
Cabarrus County Schools and five proposals from Kannapolis City Schools.

Local requests range from an updated set of encyclopedias for Cox Mill
Elementary’s media center to supplies to start a chess club at Pitts School Road

"It’s something we have found out about and let our teachers know about to
supplement what we have here," said Judith Mullis, principal at W.M. Irvin
Elementary. "Other teachers use it, but I think Monica has used it well."

Katie Bisbee, executive director of DonorsChoose in the Carolinas, said Burke
went above and beyond the call of duty to help secure more resources for her

Burke has raised $3,355 this school year alone, according to DonorsChoose
officials. She’s generated $11,532 in instructional materials since the Web site

"She is actually the top performing teacher in North Carolina," said Alex
Cerkovnik, program coordinator for the Web site’s Mid-Atlantic Region, "She’s
among the first to use DonorsChoose and take advantage of all those donors out
there who want to make an impact."

Burke said using DonorsChoose has allowed her to bring instructional supplies to
the classroom that she wouldn’t have been able to fund out of pocket. She said
she has sought funding for items that would enhance the resources the school has
and uses.

Students have been most appreciative of the silk worm eggs Burke received
through the Web site.

"They hatched and just grow by leaps and bounds every day," Burke said. "The
kids are fascinated with it. They have gotten such a kick about how they grow
and learning about life cycles."

Burke said it has been especially rewarding to see the growth in her students as
they learn and understand the changes the silk worms go through.

 Title: W.M. Irvin teacher recipient of award: Burke an ‘Innovator’ in seeking
Authors: Vick, Justin
Source: Independent Tribune (NC); 05/06/2007

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