BEND, Ore. - In Central Oregon, teachers pay an average of $400 before each school year to set up their classrooms. This year, though, the Education Foundation for Bend-La Pine Schools has raised enough money to cover much of those costs.
K-12 educators can now apply for funding between $200 and $1,000 for classroom projects through the Back-to-School Grants Program.
"During the summer, our teachers aren't necessarily off," Bend-La Pine Education Foundation Director Michelle Johnson said Monday. "They're engaged in some learning that they need to do, and they're thinking about things they need to do in their classroom. But of course, budgets are already set, and budgets are very tight."
School budgets don't always cover things like pens, pencils and notebooks, which is what these grants will be going toward.
"We really believe that when teachers are passionate about what they're teaching, students are more engaged," Education Foundation allocations chair Angie Cole said. "So the more we can help teachers help their students love learning early on, we believe that'll foster a more connective educational experience all the way through."
"When teachers love what they do, we want to support that," Cole added.
Johnson said the new funding is possible thanks in large part to the local business community.
You can donate to and apply for the grant funds here.