Megan O’Connell, a sixth grade teacher, said she was “buying some things to decorate the classroom to make it look really nice for the kids.”
“If I had a $200 grant, I’d buy things that could help to keep the classroom running procedure wise, because that’s the most important part to have all those procedures down so the kids can run the class without you,” O’Connell said.
Video by Mary Irish/AZEdNews: What Ms. O’Connell would get for students with a grant
While the 20% by 2020 plan has increased salaries for many Arizona teachers, most teachers still spend more than $500 a year out of their own pocket for classroom supplies, learning materials and snacks for their students.
A week before school starts, teachers, instructional coaches and assistant principals were buying classroom supplies, learning tools, storage, bulletin board and student reward items at Teaching & Learning Stuff in Glendale.
Some teachers have used crowdfunding to obtain technology for their classrooms, add flexible or adaptive student furniture, and provide learning tools that engage students and help them achieve.
Resources like Treasures4Teachers and Maricopa County Education Service Agency’s STEM Resource Center help many educators.
Many teachers have found that applying for grants is another way to help meet their students’ needs.
AZEdNews is celebrating its fifth anniversary by giving back to teachers with $200 classroom grants to enhance classroom learning that will be given out in September, December, February and April of this year.