northern teachers rewarded for their school supplies | News, Sports, Jobs

A teacher should never have to spend a dime on school supplies for her class. Yet teachers spend an average of $750 a year on supplies and materials.

This is especially difficult for beginning or first-grade teachers. At the North Fort Myers Civic Association’s monthly meeting at the recreation center on Tuesday, a first-grade teacher from each of the area schools received a little something to help reduce those expenses.

“These teachers have to spend their own money on their classrooms and they don’t get much of that money back,” said Debra Ballard, who put together this program. “When we started two years ago, we thought we had to do something for our teachers.”

Each of these teachers received $150 bursaries to purchase classroom supplies and materials.

New teachers or first-year teachers at a school were eligible. The directors of North Fort Myers presented their candidates.

The recipients were:

Gabriel Hillman, North Fort Myers High School,

Paige Hendrix, Bayshore Elementary School,

Julie Munger, J. Colin English Elementary,

Irene Charles, Littleton Elementary School,

Ashley Anderson, Hancock Creek Elementary School,

Cheridah St. Amend, North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts, Elementary,

Zach Dunn, North Fort Myers Academy of Arts, middle

Tropic Isles Elementary had no recipient.

St. Amend, a second-grade teacher who taught English in Beijing, China, for five years, said she was thrilled to get money to buy reading centers, books and supplies. ‘other stuff.

“It’s wonderful that this organization supports teachers. I had to sell all my equipment on my return,” said Saint Amend. “There are a few things I need to put in place to ensure my students have a great learning experience.”

Dunn, who teaches American history and television production in sixth grade and is in his first full year of teaching, was also happy and wanted to get his students more interested in history.

“It’s fantastic. I’m always looking for creative ways to engage students in history, because for many of them it’s not their favorite subject.” Dunn said. “It’s important to know more about the beginning of our country.”

Also in attendance were 25 school-aged children who each received a $50 Skechers gift card for a pair of sneakers. The gift cost $1,200. It made for perhaps the biggest crowd at an NFMCA meeting in over five years, although many left once they got their loot.

The NFMCA also decided to donate $1,000 to the Suncoast Community Task Force and named Allison Savage the organization’s new secretary, replacing Teri Halm, who resigned from the board last month for reasons health.

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