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Stephen Colbert’s big donation to SC school projects stuns local teachers

Stephen Colbert surprised Greenville, SC, Alexander Elementary School teacher Damon Qualls Thursday announcing he’s helping to Flash Fund every project in South Carolina posted on DonorsChoose.org. (Pictured left to right: actress Yvette Nicole Brown, Damon Qualls, Stephen Colbert)
Stephen Colbert surprised Greenville, SC, Alexander Elementary School teacher Damon Qualls Thursday announcing he’s helping to Flash Fund every project in South Carolina posted on DonorsChoose.org. (Pictured left to right: actress Yvette Nicole Brown, Damon Qualls, Stephen Colbert) DonorsChoose.org

Katie Silvanic has long been a Stephen Colbert fan. That appreciation ratcheted up a notch Thursday when the comedian helped fund nearly 1,000 projects pitched by South Carolina teachers on DonorsChoose.org.

One of those projects was “Chrome for Collaboration,” which Silvanic pitched as a way to help her students at Lexington Distric 1’s Lake Murray Elementary School to work together on projects in math and language arts.

Silvanic asked for $2,357 to buy nine Chromebooks. She posted the request on DonorsChoose.org “on a whim, hoping it would catch the eye of somebody in the community or maybe some random person would fund it.”

That random person ended up being Colbert, a native of South Carolina native who hosted “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central from 2005-2014 and will take over the “Late Show” on CBS when David Letterman retires this year.

Colbert partnered with Share Fair Nation and ScanSource to fund every classroom project in South Carolina on DonorsChoose.org. The nearly $800,000 in contributions will fund nearly 1,000 projects for more than 800 teachers at more than 375 schools.

DonorsChoose.org is set up to allow anyone to help pay for a classroom need. More than 1.7 million people have donated $323 million to projects through the non-profit website.

Silvanic was stunned, and thankful, to be one of the teachers helped by Colbert.

“I can’t wait to integrate (the Chromebooks) into my classroom,” Silvanic wrote on her DonorsChoose.org page. “We will be able to research and create beautiful and informative projects. The access that you have provided is infinite. The impact that your donation has made will last for many years.”

Other teachers wrote similarly of other donations, which were announced at a Greenville elementary school Thursday morning.

Silvanic said some students “are not motivated unless they have some technology in their hands.”

“The Colbert Report” used to be a guilty pleasure for Silvanic.

“After everybody was in bed for the night, I’d sneak and watch Jon Stewart (on “The Daily Show”) and Stephen Colbert,” she said.

Staying up for the “Late Show” in the future to watch her benefactor could be a challenge during the school year.

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