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Crowdfunding Classroom Innovation Comes To Duval County Schools With PowerUP Jax

Cyd Hoskinson

Crowdfunding is headed to the classroom as a way to fund innovative projects in Duval County.

PowerUP Jax, a website similar to the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, was created by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund with financial support from Community First Credit Union.

Jacksonville Public Education Fund President Trey Csar says it makes it easy for everyone to get involved in our schools.

Credit Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT
Susan Burns, Third Grade Teacher, Susie Tolbert Elementary School

“It’s really just a huge opportunity for community members to come in and say, ‘You know what? I want to do something for a classroom.’  And find a project they believe in and find a teacher who’s doing something great and to put $5, $10, $50 into it," Csar said, adding that donations will be matched by the Community First Cares Foundation.

JPEF kicked off the new initiative Wednesday at Susie Tolbert Elementary School on the city’s west side where Susan Burns 3rd grade students were busy gardening and working on a companion video called "Lights, Camera, Vegetables!"

“We will take the seasonal foods that we grow, create four ingredient recipes and sort of like a cooking show, we will film the recipes being prepared,” she said.

The editor of the video project is one of Burns students: 8-year-old Kimberly McCool.

“We just really want a whole bunch of people, including other schools and teachers and students to see this video and learn about healthy bodies and healthy people. How you can stay well,” she said.

Teacher Susan Burns says the $750 her class is getting from PowerUP Jax will be spent on video equipment.

You can get more info on the program, including how to apply for funding, at