Stephen Colbert Flash Funds $800,000 In Grants For South Carolina Teachers

Comedian and talk show host Stephen Colbert announced on Thursday that he’s giving back to schools in his home state of South Carolina by facilitating $800,000 in grants to fund roughly 1,000 requests made by public school teachers on a popular crowdfunding website.

Colbert made the announcement via a live video feed from New York to a gathering at Alexander Elementary School in Greenville. The conference in New York was held by Donors Choose, a crowdfunding non-profit that teachers can use to finance materials and experiences that their students require. Colbert announced that he will be donating roughly $800,000, which will fund projects in more than 375 schools. Over 800 teachers from South Carolina currently have grant requests listed on the site, according to the Washington Post.

The contribution will consist of proceeds raised from the auction of The Colbert Report‘s set, along with matching donations from Share Fair Nation and ScanSource. Colbert sits on Donors Choose’s board of directors, and partnered with both companies in order to raise the necessary funds, the Huffington Post reports.

Molly Spearman, South Carolina’s state superintendent of education, praised Colbert’s efforts, pointing out that the donation will ultimately help not only teachers, but primarily the students in their classrooms.

“I commend Stephen, Share Fair Nation, and Greenville’s own ScanSource for the support that they have given the dedicated and hardworking teachers of South Carolina through this gracious gift. I know these teachers will use it in a way that improves the quality of education for South Carolina’s students.”

The requests set to be funded by Colbert’s donation run the gamut from bare necessities to inspirational learning materials. Teachers have sought funding for motivational posters, books with diverse protagonists, musical instruments, gym equipment, carpet, and in many instances, basic supplies like pencils.

Colbert’s announcement was a surprise, and took place during Donors Choose’s annual partners summit. South Carolina elementary school teacher Damon Qualls, who participated in the announcement, was shocked at Colbert’s donation. His students will see five projects funded from Colbert’s efforts, for which he expressed his thanks.

“We are so grateful,” Qualls said. “I’m actually speechless. This is unbelievable.”

Colbert ended his long running tenure hosting The Colbert Report last year, as the Inquisitr previously reported, and has been prepping to take over The Late Show from David Letterman ever since. Though Letterman will step down on May 20, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert won’t premiere until September 8.

[Photo by Paul Zimmerman / Getty Images]