We provide the support needed for teachers to teach and learners to learn.
Our singular focus is on supporting under-resourced students and teachers. Communities across America are fighting an uphill battle to deliver quality education to all students. Chronic absenteeism and rampant teacher burnout combine to keep students from receiving the education they need to help them achieve their full potential. We believe access to basic school and hygiene supplies is one way to make a difference in this fight. With proper resources at their disposal, students find the confidence to return to school day in and day out. Teachers, too, are empowered to do their best work when they are supported by the resources they need to maintain effective, equitable learning environments. In many cities across the country, the need is great. In Minneapolis and Saint Paul, for example, 213 teachers have already requested supplies through our SupplyATeacher program. That is over 5000 students who will need supplies in this community alone.
KINF annually surveys our network of educators to gauge the needs of students and teachers and the impact school supplies have in underserved communities. In 2019, over 90% of respondents reported three out of four students lack the supplies needed throughout the year; 91% said their students start the first day of school without all necessary supplies. Where school and district budgets fall short, teachers reach into their own pockets to make sure students have what they need. Communities depend on teachers to sacrifice from their own salaries to do their jobs well, an expectation unheard of in any other industry. This adds undue financial pressure to teachers and contributes to teacher burnout in schools that need them the most. Covid-19 has shifted learning environments; having school supplies available in every foreseeable setting is critical. A $25,000 grant would provide more than 100 teachers supplies for their students no matter where they are learning from.
Research across the country shows chronic absenteeism is as strong a predictor of high school graduation rates as grade point average and course failures, and that regular attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than eighth-grade test scores. With your support through this grant, we can give students the confidence to keep coming to school and empower great teachers to continue teaching in the communities that need them most. Together we can break the tangible barriers holding these underserved communities in a cycle of poverty and limited potential. Education is the single most important factor in setting children up for success. Without it, students cannot achieve their full potential in the classroom and throughout their lives--and teachers remain the key to unlocking that potential.