Education Philanthropy

Staples and Katy Perry Help School Projects on

A. Ricardo/

Staples and pop singer Katy Perry are teaming up to provide full funding on all middle and high school literacy projects —  as well as college and career prep projects — posted on, a charity that has funded more than 700,000 classroom projects for teachers and has impacted more than 18 million students in the United States, according to a news release.

As part of the Staples for Students program, Staples and Perry have donated $1 million to help teachers across the country during this back-to-school season. Research done by the Education Market Association indicates that an estimated 99.5 percent of all public school teachers use their own money to equip their classrooms. Also, K–12 teachers spent an average of $487 of their own money on their classrooms during the 2015-16 school year, according to a recent survey released by SheerID and Agile Education Marketing.

In Chicago, a $134,733 Staples/Perry donation helped 106 teachers with their classroom projects, affecting more than 13,000 students across 86 schools in the community, according to a news release. In Washington, D.C., a donation of $117,795 aided 103 teachers, 8,000 students and 58 schools.

Perry said in a prepared statement: “When I teamed up with Staples in 2014, I learned firsthand how desperately teachers need our support, with many of them having to dig into their own pockets to provide simple tools that we would expect to already be available in our classrooms. So when Staples approached me again this year, I jumped at the opportunity because I saw the lasting effect our collaboration had on and thousands of teachers and students. I believe in education as the foundation for a great life, so I want to make sure that students across the country are inspired by their teachers and are afforded opportunities to realize their dreams.” was founded in 2000 by Charles Best, a Bronx public high school teacher who wanted his students to read “Little House on the Prairie.” Teachers at more than 70 percent of the public schools in the United States have created project requests, and more than 2 million people have donated over $425 million to projects that inspire them, according to a news release. More than 18 million students have received books, art supplies, field trips, technology and other resources needed to learn.

People interested in donating to can do so on the nonprofit’s website, or with as little as $1 at Staples stores or at For a limited time, every customer who donates in-store will receive a free, exclusive Perry pencil, while supplies last.

Also, now through Sept. 10, customers who spend $25 or more in any Staples store will receive an entry code on their receipt to enter an online sweepstakes for a $50,000 scholarship and a chance to meet Perry in Los Angeles. Complete rules are at

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].