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NWPE’s Brenda Miller Meets Educational Hero Founder
posted by: Cindy Omlin | June 23, 2015, 01:20 AM   

Brenda Miller, NWPE Regional Director, recently had the pleasure of meeting one of her education heroes, Mr. Charles Best, the innovative, philanthropist founder of  He spoke at the June 8 Ed Sessions luncheon sponsored by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation where Brenda met him.  Ed Sessions is attended by teachers, community members, and lawmakers.

Idaho Education News reports:

Charles Best came up with an idea for funding school projects while eating lunch in the teacher’s lounge at his high school in the Bronx, N.Y.
His “Big Idea” has collected millions and has supported innovative and creative classroom projects in the country.
Best is founder and executive director of, an online portal where teachers can go straight to the public to find potential financial supporters.
“Nothing stands between a teacher’s idea and possible funding,” Best said. “No more gatekeepers.”

brenda miller charles best donors choose founder clipWhat Best likes about his approach to education funding is that members of the public can choose which projects they want to support. has funded 2,200 classroom projects to the tune of $1.5 million in the state of Idaho since 2007, according to IEN.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey’s support has helped the donation tool gain attention across the nation.

Brenda, a former recipient, notes that community members can be assured of the posted project’s authenticity. vets teacher requests before they are posted.  She additionally likes how students affected by the contributions send photos or letters to their project donors.

“Thanks to his hard work and the support of generous donors, my students along with others across the nation have been the recipients of funding for cool projects and field tips that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.   Now, thanks to Charles Best and the support of the Albertsons Foundation many more projects in Idaho will be funded.”  

Brenda and all the luncheon attendees were provided with a $250 gift card to donate on 

sarah turnerBrenda found numerous projects posted by NWPE members and ultimately chose Blackfoot Charter Community Learning Center’s Sarah Turner to receive her Ed Sessions contribution.  “I wanted to show our support for a member and Sarah’s project could be fully and finally funded by this donation.”  

Sarah’s request included funding for one set of Gail Gibbons Science Read-Along books for her science research projects.  She wrote, “I know my students will love these audio books, and they will be very useful as we research animals for our yearly reports! Each student chooses which animal they would like to research, and then goes for it! They have access to books in our classroom library. They also have access to articles, pictures, and videos on the National Geographic Kids website. I want to add one more type of media to their available resources—audio books!”

Congratulations to Sarah and our deep gratitude to Mr. Charles Best for developing the online educational support portal.  Thank you also to the 

NWPE members are encouraged to post their projects, mention that they are a member of Northwest Professional Educators in their project description, and send us the project link and NWPE and the AAE will promote their project in our blogs, social media, newsletters, etc.

Additionally, educators are encouraged to apply for NWPE’s $500 classroom grants and teacher scholarships at  All educators are eligible.  Teachers new to their schools or grade level are also eligible for NWPE’s $250 new classroom start up grants.

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