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I Wonder...

In recent news, there has been a great deal of focus on teachers. Teachers across the country have been speaking out about the need to increase salaries and how often they use their own money for classroom items. Is this really surprising? Did you really not know?

A survey completed by revealed that most teachers spend $500 annually out of their own pockets. One in ten will spend $1,000 or more. Principals surveyed reported spending an average of $683. While the school poverty level does play a role in the amount of money spent, all teachers are spending their own money. This shouldn't be happening. And, this is where the Collierville Education Foundation steps in.

Our process is not very difficult. Teachers complete a grant application and submit it to be reviewed by our board. Using a rubric system, grants go through a scoring process which is done in the blind, meaning the board member does not know who the grant belongs to and with what school it is associated. Grants are awarded based on the score until the funds run out. It's as simple as that. The more funding we have, the more grants we can provide.

I recently had the opportunity to visit Mrs. Williamson's class at Sycamore Elementary. Mrs. Williamson received a grant this year to purchase twenty-eight Wonder books for the 5th grade. While the children will focus on their reading and writing skills, they are also learning so much more. They are using the book to learn about accepting those that may be different. They are learning about bullying and how they can make a difference. This grant for $299 is making an impact not only today but for years to come.

We all had a teacher that went beyond the books to give us an experience in the classroom that left a lasting impression. This is exactly what CEF wants to offer. We want to encourage our teachers to be creative without the limitations of a budget. And, you can be part of that. Visit our website at and get involved.

I wonder what we could accomplish if we filled every eligible grant.

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