MILWAUKEE -- Teachers across Wisconsin woke up to a huge surprise on Tuesday morning, September 6th.
"First thing I did when I looked at my email -- I'm like, 'We got funded, I'm so excited!'" said Astrid Wagner, a fourth grade teacher with Milwaukee Public Schools.
Astrid Wagner, 4th grade teacher
Wagner learned on Tuesday morning that her classroom requests on DonorsChoose.org had been granted. The website allows educators to request crowdfunding for resources they otherwise could not provide for students.
"The things that we request, we sit down and we talk about what kind of things we could use in the classroom and what would make kids want to be here and what would enhance their learning and what would motivate them the most," Wagner said.
In Wagner's case, she was able to get the funds to get more comfortable wobble chairs for her students and a Wii gaming system to get the kids moving during learning stations.
"We're on a limited budget here at school. And I can, my husband only lets me spend so much in the classroom. So I'm limited there," Wagner said.
The thing is, Wagner was not alone. Every teacher in Wisconsin who had posted a request on DonorsChoose.org by 12:01 a.m. Tuesday had their request funded by Herb Kohl Philanthropies. The flash-funded gift totaled about $500,000 statewide.
For Wagner, it was a very welcome way to kick off the school year.
"I'm like, 'oh, it got funded today. Oh my goodness, this one got funded.' So it was very exciting. I even told my partner. I'm like, 'we got everything! I'm so excited,'" Wagner said.
Herb Kohl Philanthropies tells FOX6 News the gift will impact nearly 43,000 students statewide. It covered requests for everything from health and hygiene products to school supplies and musical instruments.