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JPEF and Community First Cares Launch Classroom Grants for Duval County Teachers

By: Stephanie Garry Garfunkel, Director of Marketing & Communications at JPEF

Posted on 8/25/2020 10:00:00 AM

Jacksonville, Fla., Aug. 25, 2020The Jacksonville Public Education Fund and the Community First Cares Foundation (the nonprofit arm of Community First Credit Union) have launched a new and expanded classroom grant program to provide $50,000 in grants to support critical work for students during a challenging new school year. The partnership is the largest grant program of its kind for both organizations, who have worked together on several similar grant programs in the past few years. 

Teachers who work in Title I traditional and charter public schools in Duval County are eligible to apply for funds to support creative problem-solving projects that will create a warm, loving environment for students and drive student achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples include flexible seating options to help students social distance, purchasing individual supply caddies so that students don’t need to share materials and games and hands-on activities to make sure students have fun learning. JPEF has established a community review process that will carefully vet projects for need and impact. Each teacher can apply for up to $1,000. Teachers can learn more at jaxpef.org/community-first.

“This partnership continues on a long tradition of collaboration between JPEF and Community First to support Duval County educators, and we could not be more proud to stand alongside teachers during this difficult time,” said JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune. “We are so grateful for the vision and generosity of the Community First Cares Foundation.”

”As an organization founded by educators, we are proud to support teachers in our community achieve more in the classroom than traditional funding provides,” said Missy Peters, executive director of the Community First Cares Foundation. “This program is even more critical now given the severe impacts of the pandemic.”

In addition, the Community First gift will support JPEF’s Teacher Leadership Initiative, which equips Teachers of the Year with best practices to support leadership in schools across Duval County. JPEF has developed a robust professional learning experience for teachers to learn equity-focused best practices in cohorts to support colleague-led learning and leadership across the school year.

Contact Stephanie Garry Garfunkel, Director of Marketing & Communications, at (352) 359-2393 or stephanie@jaxpef.org for more information. To learn more about JPEF’s Teacher Leadership Initiative, please contact Warren Buck, Director of Teacher Leadership, at warren@jaxpef.org.

About the Jacksonville Public Education Fund

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is a research-driven independent nonprofit organization that is working to close the opportunity gap for low-income students and students of color in Duval County. We believe public schools have made tremendous progress over the last ten years, but we cannot stop working until every student is prepared for success in college, career and life. We spread equity-focused best practices in schools by building the capacity of school leaders, teacher leaders and parent leaders. For more information: www.jaxpef.org.

About the Community First Cares Foundation

The Community First Cares Foundation, founded by Community First Credit Union, is a non-profit charitable foundation that grants funds to improve the quality of life in North Florida. The foundation supports activities to improve financial literacy, enhance the quality of our educational system, upgrade the health and welfare of our community and help underserved citizens. The Community First Cares Foundation makes contributions to nonprofit organizations that serve the communities on the First Coast. For more information, visit www.communityfirstcares.org or call 904-371-8090.

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