A Gift for Teaching holds a special place in our hearts. If you are able to read this – thank a teacher. Most people can name at least one educator that has made a lasting impression on their lives, can you? Not only for imparting practical skills like reading, writing, and math but for instilling the confidence to discover your dreams and create the life you live today. It can feel extremely rewarding to have such a lifelong impact on future generations, but it can also be daunting and difficult to overcome the barriers teachers face to do so.
One of those hurdles is as small as a pencil. Orange County Public Schools is the 9th largest school district in the United States with 70% of schools considered high-need. Tens of thousands of students are not able to afford lunch let alone school supplies, and that number has only multiplied after the flooding and destruction left by Hurricane Ian. Understanding that a child’s ability to learn and achieve becomes limited without access to essential supplies, our teachers spend upwards of $500 out of their own pockets every school year. This is where A Gift For Teaching supports educators as Central Florida’s primary provider of free supplies to teachers for their students who need them most.
For nearly 25 years, A Gift for Teaching has connected the community and businesses to the ever-evolving needs of public-school teachers and students. With a mission to provide educational resources that empower teachers to inspire future leaders, A Gift for Teaching envisions a future where every student has the tools and experiences to succeed. Through its innovative distribution methods, more than $153 million in supplies have been provided directly to schools and classrooms since 1998 to foster student achievement, self-esteem, and interest in learning.
To help alleviate the financial burden of purchasing supplies, eligible teachers have the opportunity to shop in a retail store, online, and on a mobile unit the entire school year for free supplies that are generously donated and funded by the community. This includes pens, notebooks, books, backpacks, clothing, hygiene items, learning incentives, teaching tools, and more.
It’s more than just a pencil. Even in a digital learning environment, pencils are needed to sleuth solutions, cultivate creativity, and take tests. But as we enter the second half of the school year, more than 75% of students will run out of supplies and their families will not be able to buy replacements. Replenishing supplies is vital to ensure local students have the tools they need to finish the year with success.
Education is truly a gift that keeps on giving, and you can be a part of this gift. For a limited time, through December 31st, donations to A Gift For Teaching will be eligible to be doubled and go twice as far with the help of generous matching funders. Every $1 received can be transformed into $20 worth of supplies that are placed into the hands of students to discover their dreams and craft their future. Visit AGiftForTeaching.org/double for more information.