KC trails only New Orleans in NFL Playoffs challenge to fund local teachers’ projects

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chiefs may still be waiting to play in their first playoff game, but Kansas City is already dominating the competition in a match-up with other NFL playoff cities.

Kansas City is competing against the rest of the NFL's playoff cities to see which city can give local teachers the most support in the "Teacher Champion Challenge."

"A lot of community members don't understand just how often teachers have to go in their pockets to support classroom projects, they support everything from furniture to school supplies, to books," said Murray Woodard, program officer for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Ingels Elementary second-grade teacher Aubrey Paine found out about a website called donorschoose .org a couple years ago. It helps teachers looking for ways to get needed supplies for their classroom or fund classroom projects.

"I decided I'd take a look at it and just see give it a try and see if I got any donations," Paine said.

First, she got tablets for her students; now, she has the headphones for them and special chairs that keep kids from using all that extra energy to disrupt class.

But there are still plenty of unfunded classroom needs on the site. The NFL competition might just change that.

"Not only do we get to support our home team, but we also get to expand our impact in supporting teachers and students citywide," Woodard said.

Right now, Kansas City trails only New Orleans in giving in the "Teacher Champion Challenge," thanks in part to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which is matching donations dollar for dollar.

"You can actually see where your dollars are going. You know which project you are supporting, you know what the teachers are asking for and it's just exciting and a way to have an impact on education in our community," Woodard said.

"A lot of it is just making the community aware of the things that teachers need and why," Paine said.

Donations to Jackson and Wyandotte County teachers will be added up on Super Bowl Sunday. If Kansas City gets the most per student, Dick’s Sporting Goods will give $100,000 to local teachers for their sports-related classroom projects.

If you'd like to donate, you can do so here.

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