The Lakewood Education Foundation will dole out $42,000 in grants to teachers today at a celebration marking the 10th anniversary of a program that benefits local classrooms.
The program, founded in 2003 by Councilman Todd Rogers and Steve Croft, provides grants each year of up to $500 each to Lakewood schoolteachers.
The idea came in an effort to raise money to help teachers pay for classroom supplies. The money is intended solely for teachers, not for administration costs, Rogers said.
"We'd read that the average teacher spends about $500 of his or her own money on classroom supplies every year," he said.
Each year teachers submit a one-page document telling specifically how they would directly improve the educational experience for students, Rogers said.
The first year the foundation awarded $3,000, he said. Last year, teachers received $45,000 in grants, and this year $42,000 will be doled out.
Recipients this year include teachers from the Long Beach, Bellflower, ABC and Paramount Unified school districts, along with St. Pancratius School.
The grants will go to
88 teachers - about half of the number who applied - to pay for art supplies, physical education equipment, iPads (many of which are for autistic students), laptop computers, a hand-held wireless response system and field trips.
No city funds are used to fund the grants and fundraising is done through the organization, Rogers said.
"This event is the highlight of the year for the organization.
"It's not about us, but it's about the teachers and the great things they are doing for our students."
The awards ceremony is from 4 to 6 p.m. today at the Monte Verde Park, 4626 Shadeway Road, in Lakewood.
For more information on the Foundation go to www.lakewoodeducation.org.