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      Teachers look to the web for a boost in the classroom

      Va nderbilt art teacher Lisa Cassity has her students working on a pottery project. Once the sculpting was finished, she realized they were missing some color, but she couldn't afford the expensive glaze to add to the artwork.

      So she turned to a donation website for school projects around the country, DonorsChoose.org."They chose my project because they want to support the arts. So there are people that are out there that want to support schools like us in their art department," Cassity explained.

      S he needed $200 to buy the materials and in just one week she had the money. Eleven donors from all over the country.

      Va nderbilt Principal Michelle Kihn tells 7&4 news that donations like these are essential for her district, which has faced a deficit every year for the last five years.

      " Times are tough right now . N ot just for Vanderbilt , but for every school in northern Michigan and to be able to find donors that are able to give up their hard earned income to support us is fabulous ," Kihn said.

      A t Gaylord Intermediate School, teacher Aaron Brooks just got his 50th project funded through the site this week.

      " I added up every once in a while just out of curiosity and I'm nearing nearly $20,000 ," Brooks said.

      N ew books , a gardening set , and even a gong that students get to hit after they reach a reading milestone.

      B rooks says these items help enhance the learning process and other teachers in his district are beginning to catch on and join the site.

      " Just because the funding is getting cut it doesn't mean the materials aren't important . S o we do have to think outside the box to be able to get these materials in a classroom ," Brooks said.