Over 200 local teachers took over East Brother Beer Co. in Richmond on Friday for a happy hour organized to thank them for their service.
But the Chamberlin Family Foundation (CFF), which hosted the event, say the hard-working K-12 educators deserve far more than delicious beer. And so each received a Gratitude Grant of up to $250 at the fun party.
It was part of the CFF’s fifth annual Gratitude Grant program. This year, a record 646 teachers across West County are receiving a total of $159,000 in Gratitude Grants, or 194 more grants than were awarded last year. A increase in awareness about the program led to an increase in teacher applications, with educators from nearly all West County public schools applying, the Foundation said.
Why Gratitude Grants? In part, because teachers on average spend nearly $500 of their own money on their classroom’s educational materials, according to the Foundation, which cited a U.S. Department of Education study.
Since 2015, CFF Gratitude Grants have provided $460,000 directly to teachers for additional supplies, resources and professional development.
“We deeply value the effort that teachers put into their work,” Foundation co-founder Susan Chamberlin said in a statement. “We are excited to provide Gratitude Grants to so many of them this year.”
Next year’s Gratitude Grants applications will be available in early 2020.
Founded in 2006, the Chamberlin Family Foundation focuses its grantmaking on public schools that serve high-need students, programs that support teachers and school leaders, and on community advocacy aimed to improve public schools for all West Contra Costa students. For more information, visit here.