Lakewood teachers get a helping hand
National Teacher Day falls on Tuesday, May 8, and communities nationwide will take time to recognize their local educators. Through its annual grant program, honoring teachers and enhancing their resources to teach is something the Lakewood Education Foundation (LEF) does every year.
Since 2003, LEF has awarded grants of up to $500 to dozens of teachers each year for classroom improvement projects that provide a direct benefit to Lakewood students. In just nine years LEF has given classroom grants to 530 Lakewood teachers, totaling $189,148. The funds pay for updated books, art supplies, math kits, audio-visual equipment, and much more. Last year, 98 teachers received grants totaling $45,070, an increase of 30% over the prior year. The supplemental funding for Lakewood schools plays an especially valuable role during these tough economic times when many school districts are having to cut their classroom supply budgets.
Third grade teacher Jeanne Zullo of Melbourne Elementary School was able to replace an aging television, “I just can’t believe the Lakewood Education Foundation continues to be so generous in these terrible economic times. They’re generous to teachers. They understand that class sizes have increased and that we have needs for just everyday things. And, they’re so willing and generous to us and I just can’t thank them enough.”
One educator received funding for an “Elmo” document camera/projector that is widely sought as a valuable teaching tool. Several teachers now share the resource and use it to project text books, photographs and art work for whole classes to view. Teachers say it’s ideal for sharing art and cultural information. Another grant paid for equipment needed to help special-needs children, and another funded art materials that are scarce during these times of budget cuts.