TV comedian and South Carolina native Stephen Colbert on Thursday announced he would fund every grant request South Carolina public school teachers have made on the education crowdfunding website DonorsChoose.org.
Colbert made the announcement on a live video feed Thursday during a conference in New York hosted by the nonprofit website, which allows donors to pay for classroom supplies and teacher training. The group was hosting Greenville teacher Damon Qualls as part of a discussion about the site and Qualls’ own requests, when Colbert “interrupted” the event to announce the pledge.
Colbert, who is from Charleston, announced the funding would come from money made by auctioning off set pieces from his old “Colbert Report” program that ended in December. Colbert is scheduled to become the next host of the “Late Show” in September.
He said The Morgridge Family Foundation and ScanSource would match his donation to fund $800,000 towards nearly 1,000 projects for more than 800 teachers at over 375 schools.
Colbert also spoke briefly through videoconference with some of Qualls’ students at Alexander Elementary School in Greenville. State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman was also on-hand at Alexander for the announcement. Qualls said he has had 126 projects funded on DonorsChoose.org, including five projects from Thursday’s announcement.
DonorsChoose said its website has been used to fund 13,000 projects worth $5.6 million since it began operating in South Carolina ten years ago.