Katy Perry is allying with Staples, sponsor of the North American leg of her Prismatic World Tour, to push the money envelope further in a campaign called "Make Roar Happen." The office-supplies giant kicked-off the efforts by handing $1 million to the founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org, Charles Best, in a press conference Thursday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
DonorsChoose.org allows teachers working in schools unable to afford staple resources to reach out for local donations earmarked to provide kids with the materials they need to learn. The charity has already helped fund more than 450,000 classroom projects and impacted more than 11 million students. It also sports an ecclectic and impressive Board of Directors, including Stephen Colbert.
At the announcement, Best explained his beginnings as a history teacher in the Bronx, going to Staples every morning to photocopy chapters from Little House on the Prarie for his students. A recent Staples survey revealed that 75 percent of parents of teen students believe a lack of school supplies is a significant challenge today. Most teachers spend an average of $408.71 of their own money each year to provide such materials themselves.
"With music that inspires people worldwide, Katy Perry is a powerful voice to encourage people to Roar and recognize teachers for their impact both inside and outside the classroom," said Alison Corcoran, Senior Vice President of Staples. "Our $1 million donation will help teachers supply their classrooms just in time for back-to-school."
Meanwhile, the California Gurl herself told the press that she was happy to redirect attention away from "green hair and pink shoes" and toward "the very basic materials classrooms need for teachers to help students reach their full potential." Later this month, fans will be invited to enter into a sweepstakes by submitting videos in which they describe their educational goals, inspirational teachers, and/or how education has positively impacted their lives. The winners will receive a trip to Los Angeles to meet Perry and attend her September 19 Staples Center performance.