On Tuesday evening at the Clarence Brown Conference Center, 199 teachers and more than 40 donors were recognized for the $95,000 raised in individually-tailored grants to supplement instruction during the 12th annual Teacher Grant banquet.
"For those of you who are unfamiliar with what teachers do in their classrooms, they open up their wallets every year, and I think the average is about $500 per teacher, and they buy supplies for their students so they can be successful day in and day out in the classroom," Superintendent John Harper said.
The Bartow Education Foundation was established in the early 2000s as a nonprofit organization designed to provide additional support for the Bartow County School System, its employees and students. However, the Teacher Grant program has existed since 1996.
Bartow teachers who are seeking additional classroom funding can apply for a grant up to $500 through the foundation. A three-person panel will evaluate the request and if approved, the teacher will receive the funding to be used toward classroom improvement based upon their request.
Dot Frasier, executive director of the Bartow Education Foundation, attributed the growing success of the program to local churches, community groups, businesses and to the teachers themselves. She said this year's total, about $15,000 more than last year, is the greatest amount ever received by the foundation.
"I have visited churches all over the county, I've gone everywhere they would open a door, and I've told them how wonderful [Bartow County teachers] are," Frasier said. "Ninety-five-thousand-dollars does not fall from the sky. "
Grants are primarily targeted toward reading and math improvement, but encourage teachers to be creative with their students and help reach them on a different level.
Teachers applying for a grant have to establish the need for opportunity given by the program they wish funded, program objectives, an assessment of the program, the program's impact and the program's budget.
Through its donors, the foundation's Teacher Grant Program has been able to provide more than $1 million in grants to teachers across Bartow County.
Visit the archives on www.daily-tribune.com for stories on how the grants are being used in the classroom.