The Camden City School District will get a $250,000 grant for teachers to use on resources, district officials said Wednesday.
John Langan and Judith Nadell of Townsend Press, a West Berlin-based publisher of educational materials, are donating the money to help teachers pay for class projects and supplies.
"Thousands of Camden students will be able to innovate with more technology, create with more art supplies, and experience more hands-on learning opportunities," Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard said. "I am deeply grateful for their support, and I encourage our teachers to begin brainstorming how they can make the most of this extraordinary gift."
The husband and wife, former educators who live in Voorhees, are longtime supporters of urban education and have made several large contributions to Camden's teachers through Townsend Press, most recently $500,000 last year.
The funding will be made available to Camden teachers who post their desired projects on DonorsChoose.org, an online charity site similar to Kickstarter that helps schools in need.
Teachers are encouraged to post projects that total $1,000 or less, and after the teacher secures half of the cost through the site, the donation will pay the balance. Projects could include anything from musical instruments to field trips or iPads, spokesman Brendan Lowe said.
Camden City schools have had nearly 800 projects fully funded on DonorsChoose.org, district officials said, with those projects putting almost $900,000 in resources into classrooms.
Townsend has donated over $3 million to DonorsChoose.org since 2010, according to the company website.
"We're about to take a huge step forward in supporting students and teachers in Camden - a community that needs and deserves our full support," said Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org. "We're humbled by the commitment Townsend Press has made to ensuring Camden students and teachers start the year with the materials and resources they need most."
Townsend Press also donated more than $2 million to Camden's Catholic schools over the years, and this year was responsible for the largest donation made to the North Camden Little League. Other programs funded by Townsend include Room to Read and the Children's Literacy Initiative.
Langan and Nadell are also donating $50,000 to modernize the library at MetEast High School, district officials said.