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Champions For Learning aiding teachers facing financial stress

Reporter: Jennifer Morejon Writer: Paul Dolan, WINK News

Collier County teacher Sandy Mendoza knows teachers and parents spend a lot of money doing back-to-school shopping, and inflation is worsening the financial stress.

A Southwest Florida non-profit is trying to help ease that financial stress building up on teachers.

“In the beginning of the year it’s about $200 for notebooks, composition books in order to keep things organized, we purchase those things … and throughout the year, with our different activities and projects that we have, we continue to buy things throughout the year,” said Mendoza, a Calusa Park Elementary School teacher for the last 23 years.

“We do purchase a lot of things so our kids feel comfortable and they are not worried. A lot of the students can’t afford them, the families are going through rough times… it’s wonderful to color and draw with brand-new pencils and crayons,” said Mendoza.

Champions For Learning is helping teachers and parents not feel the constriction of the financial stress through their classroom grants. Teachers can apply for up to $2,000 for supplies, field trips, and other special projects.

“I think that so many people are looking for ways to support our teachers and our students,” said Amy Snyder the director of the educator programs for Champions For Learning.

The community and local businesses donated more than $115,000 helping more than 200 teachers in 2021.

“Champion For Learning and the grants they give are a bridge between schools and the community,” said Mendoza.

Champions For Learning is hopeful they can beat the $115,000 in donations this year. Anyone who would like to support the cause can donate to Champions For Learning year round.