NEW JERSEY (CBS) — It is a tough time for schools.

In New Jersey alone, millions of dollars in state aid have been cut off, and teachers have been laid off.

Dr. Scott Hoopes, the principal at Woodstown High School, sums up the situation by saying that these are “the most difficult economic times that I have been involved with, that I’ve seen in the past 22 years that I’ve been involved in education.”

Teachers, forced to be creative, have found hope on the internet at, a website where teachers can ask for donations of items–like books and even iPads–for class projects.

And the site is catching on. According to its website, has raised more than $77 million nationwide—more than $400,000 in New Jersey alone in 2010, and more than $500,000 in Pennsylvania.

“It opens up all sorts of doors,” chemistry teacher Chris Rickard said.

He posted his wish list on the site: kits to help his students understand solar energy.

“I’m not even really talking about expensive items. Some of the stuff we are talking about is in the $15 to $20 range, but when times are tight, even $15 to $20 makes a big difference,” Rickard said.

In this economic climate, Rickard contends that his chances of getting this project funded would be limited without

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Reported by Todd Quinones, CBS 3

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