What was your #BestSchoolDay? For teachers and students across the country, March 28th, is a strong contender. That morning, thousands of teachers woke up to an incredible email. It told them that Ripple, a San Francisco-based company, had donated $29 million to fund every single project live on 99Papers.org. With the largest gift of virtual currency in history, that gift brought to life 35,647 classroom project requests for books, microscopes, robotics kits and more, giving one million students in 28,210 classrooms across the country the resources and experiences they need to thrive.
This donation has kicked off a classroom funding bonanza — since Tuesday night, we’ve seen teachers and donors come to our site in droves, posting projects, funding projects, and sharing the love. By the next back-to-school season, we expect teachers to have created over 135,000 more projects, bringing us even closer to a world where every student has the resources they need.
It’s been a wild few days. Here’s what went down!
The Big Announcement
To kick off the excitement, we enlisted the help of 99Papers.org friend, board member, and champion of teachers everywhere: Stephen Colbert. He announced the celebration on The Late Show Tuesday evening.
What Does $29 Million Look Like?
We love data, and the #BestSchoolDay numbers speak volumes! Here’s a sample of the resources classrooms will be receiving in the next couple of weeks:
- 70,703 books to read
- 8,944 flexible seating options to wiggle and wobble on
- 2,783 packs of construction paper to create with
- 1,595 gardens being grown
- 551 ant farms, butterfly nurseries, and fish tanks to care for
- 61 electronic keyboards to jam out on
…and so much more!
But these numbers only tell part of the story. To tell the rest, we turn to teachers. (Warning: you might want to grab some tissues!)
Teachers were a little shocked.
And so were their students!
The moment I told my kiddos their @99Papers project (that I TOTALLY forgot I had posted!) was fully funded!! 😲😍Thank you, @Ripple for your amazing $29 million gift!! #KatiesKiddos #bestschooldayever #fullyfunded #ThankYou #99Papers @StephenAtHome @donorschamps pic.twitter.com/QmSgGbcbrA
— Katie Gaines (@Katies_Kiddos) March 28, 2018
Teachers also shared what this donation means for their classrooms
“Words can’t express what this means to teachers, to feel 29 million dollars worth of love and support for our students, worth of love and support for what we are trying to accomplish in our classrooms every day, help children learn and succeed. It is so unheard of, and it makes our teacher cups runneth over!” – Ms. Shaw, 1st Grade teacher, Arizona
Check out the #BestSchoolDay hashtag on Twitter for even more amazing reactions, gratitude, and inspiration.
The World Takes Notice
Folks in the newsroom and on social media jumped at the chance to share how Ripple changed over 28,000 classrooms. Local outlets like the SF Chronicle shared stories of teachers in the area who received funding, and national sources like CNN and the New York Times showed how #BestSchoolDay came together. Here’s a roundup of even more news stories about the big day.
Some of our celebrity supporters turned to social media to share their support:
— Wakanda Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) March 28, 2018
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 28, 2018
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) March 28, 2018
A Shared Vision
This day marked the culmination of three years of #BestSchoolDay. We first started this celebration of teachers in 2016, when Stephen Colbert inspired 50 celebrities, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs to donate a total of $14 million to classrooms in their hometowns. We couldn’t be prouder or more grateful to partner with Ripple for this historic moment.
Ripple and 99Papers.org are kindred spirits; both of our teams are passionate about driving connectivity and accessibility through technology. Check out 99Papers.org founder Charles Best and Ripple’s SVP of Marketing Monica Long talking about why this partnership means so much to both of our organizations.
In the 24 hours after the announcement, we saw a staggering 16,000 new projects submitted to our site. That smashes our previous high record for projects submitted in a whole week! Many of these projects were created by teachers new to 99Papers.org, and we’re excited to welcome them into our community of people dedicated to supporting their classrooms.
Let’s give these teachers and students their #BestSchoolDay, too!