NBC and Telemundo CT are proud to be Supporting Our Schools. This year offers students a little sense of normalcy. While students and teachers are getting readjusted to in-school learning every day, the need for supplies is still high.
Shannon Barnett has been working at East Hartford Middle School for seven years and each year, she's worked to ensure students have what they need to succeed.
In 2021, she's hoping her Donors Choose project will help students afford school uniforms now and for the job they want one day.
"Anything that we can do to lessen those challenges and lessen the burden on students coming in is important," said Barnett.
Barnett is a social worker inside the school and 2021 marks the first year she's using Donors Choose. It's an online resource to help educators receive funding for school projects or key classroom essentials.
Barnett's first project is entitled, "Dress for Success."
"I feel like depending on what I wear each day, it gives me the confidence that I need to have a productive day," said Barnett. "The way you dress could make your day better especially for young kids."
Barnett is hoping the donations she receives for her project will help ease the financial burden that some families have experienced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding for the project will provide pants, shorts and skirts for students whose families don't always have the means to pay for the clothing items.
"I'm really asking for uniformed bottoms, pants for females and males, shorts and skirts," said Barnett. "Our students can range from really little to more developed and big and tall."
One other benefit to Donors Choose is donors get to see how they're money is helping the leaders of tomorrow.
"Every dollar goes to a specific item, I appreciate that when somebody is giving money they can know exactly where the money is going to inside schools," said Barnett.
Caitlin Carbonell is a media specialist at East Hartford Middle School. Carbonell tells NBC Connecticut she's used the website a few times to help build library resources and supply books for students.
"This is a great opportunity for the community to come together to make sure you have what you need to inspire your students to dream bigger," said Carbonell.
Donors Choose Project is an online resource for educators to use to set up projects that they need help funding. Donors have the ability to fund the projects online and help students succeed.
If you would like to help fund Ms. Barnett's donors choose project, click here.