Philanthropy: It's Raining PencilsL THE WISH GRANTER

THE WISH GRANTER

In the cramped, windowless staff lunchroom at Wings Academy, a small public high school in the Bronx in New York City, teachers are often buzzing about big new ideas on how to teach and reach students. But few of their improvement schemes made it into classrooms until rookie teacher Charles Best had the best idea of all: to create an online charity that would give citizen philanthropists direct access to needy classrooms.

Best's vision became donorschoose.org a site that allows donors to search teacher requests and fund the projects they like best. The charity then buys the supplies--anything from...

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