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People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Teachers chant as they continue to protest at the Arizona Capitol, May 3, 2018, in Phoenix.
Ross D. Franklin/AP
Education

5 Ways You Can Say Thank You to Teachers

In a year punctuated by strikes across the country, educators kicked off the annual Teachers’ Appreciation Week yesterday with social media posts, restaurant giveaways, and even a Google Doodle in honor of the nation’s more than 3 million teachers

Online, social media users called out their hardworking teachers using the hashtag #TeachersAppreciationDay, which is celebrated each year on the Tuesday of Teachers’ Appreciation Week. 

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The practice of publically celebrating teachers in the US goes back 65 years. 

Teachers’ Appreciation Day was written into law in 1953 thanks in large part to the advocacy of two women: Arkansas teacher Mattie Whyte Woodridge and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt

Teachers weren’t given a full week of celebration until 1985, however, when National Teachers’ Week was set as the first week of May. 

Read More: This Is the Powerful Message the ‘National Teacher of the Year’ Shared With President Trump

Today, teachers across the country and around the world face challenges ranging from overcrowded classrooms to a lack of school supplies. But there are many ways you can help these teachers provide a quality education to their students. 

Global Citizen is bringing you five powerful ways to give back: 

1/ Fund a teacher project 

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DonorsChoose.org is a one-stop shop for crowdsourced teacher projects. Teachers can post about initiatives they would like to do with their students or tools their students need, and funders help complete these gaps. Current projects in need of funding include everything from raising money to buy a green screen for a recording studio to sending students to a Future Business Leaders of America conference

2/ Support teachers demanding higher pay 

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West Virginia, Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina — the list goes on. Across the country, teachers in blue and red states alike are clamoring for higher wages. Make a sign and show up to a protest. Call your representatives and ask them to raise teacher pay in your state. 

Read More: These 10 Inspirational Teachers Are Transforming Education and the World as We Know It

3/ Support refugee children around the world

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More than half of the world’s 22.5 million refugees are children. But according to UNHCR, only 50 percent of refugee children have access to a quality education. Support these students by calling on world leaders to support the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund. ECW, established in 2016, brings together humanitarian and development actors and distributes donor funds where they are needed most and as quickly as possible, to continue children's education in times of crisis.

4/ Donate used school supplies 

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Is there a pile of old textbooks, calculators and bookbags collecting dust in your closet? You can donate these old school supplies to organizations that support teachers and students like Develop Africa, Operation Backpack or the Kids in Need Foundation. You can also donate teacher tools through Save the Children USA, as well as numerous other organizations.  

5/ Write a letter to a former teacher 

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Get out a pen and paper to write an old-fashioned letter to a teacher who inspired you. As part of Teachers’ Appreciation Week, Google has also developed a platform that allows you to send words of encouragement to teachers across the country through the Made With Code project. Just make sure you don’t have any spelling errors!