North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley on Feb. 11 announced the launch of a new web-based program that aims to link the state’s teachers to potential benefactors across the state or country.

New York-based DonorsChoose (www.donorschoose.org) will be used by teachers in 15 pilot school districts across North Carolina. The company runs a nonprofit marketplace on the internet where teachers and citizens connect to give students the resources they need to learn.

“Supporting teacher excellence and creativity is an important way to ensure great teaching in our classrooms and increased student achievement,” said Easley. “That is why I am pleased that DonorsChoose has selected North Carolina as its first expansion outside New York. We look forward to supporting teachers across the state and to serving as a model for other states around the country.”

DonorsChoose allows teachers to submit proposals for any resource that would enhance their students’ learning. Proposals may include requests for books, art supplies, science equipment, computers, or a variety of other materials. Individuals around the state and the country can review the proposals and choose to fund the ones they find most compelling. When a proposal is funded, DonorsChoose purchases the materials for the teacher and compiles photographs, student thank-you notes, a teacher impact letter, and receipts for the donor.

DonorsChoose has funded nearly $1 million worth of projects in New York in less than four years, organizers said. The program will be available to teachers statewide in August, and officials hope the project will direct $100,000 worth of resources to North Carolina schools by the end of the 2004 school year.