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Collier Teachers Awarded $58,000 In Classroom Grants

Eighty-one (81) teachers were the happy recipients of classroom grant awards on October 10, 2013 totaling more than $58,000.

Kate Hickie's class at Naples Park Elementary celebrates their classroom grant

They were surprised with the good news by volunteers and board members of The Education Foundation—Champions For Learning.  In total, the Foundation delivered 114 grants to 39 schools in Collier County to support creative, innovative experiences for students.

Because of a $20,000 charitable gift from Herb and Ann Rowe and $15,000 from the PNC Foundation to support the technology and capacity for the Connect With A Classroom grant program, every penny donated from the community goes to fund innovative teacher requests.

“We believe the greatest impact can be made in our community by influencing our youngest members,” commented PNC Wealth Director—Naples, FL, Bob Saltarelli, on behalf of the Foundation.  “For that reason, we consider our support of education a strategic investment to help broaden their opportunities for social and economic mobility.”

“After funding classroom grants for many years and seeing the impact first-hand, we understood how important it was for teachers and the community to have this online tool, and we decided to also contribute to the capacity that supports the program for teachers,” said Ann Rowe.

The following provided significant contributions to fund teacher grants:   Lucie Jenny MacCarthy Music Fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union Foundation, Herb & Ann Rowe, The English-Speaking Union, State Farm, and the proceeds from the specialty State of Florida Educational License for Learning Plate Fund (  When the plate is purchased or renewed in Collier County, $20 of the fee comes back to Collier County and Champions For Learning invests 100% of those dollars in classroom grants.

The award-winning teachers requested classroom funding through the Champions For Learning’s website where all grant requests can be viewed and fulfilled by the community.  The Education Foundation began funding classroom grants over twenty years ago. The online Connect With a Classroom program began in 2003, allowing teachers to post funding requests (from $20 to $2,000) for creative, innovative experiences for their students, which also invests in best practices to share with other teachers.

A second round of grant requests is opening.  The deadline to sbmit a grant request for this cycle is November 12th, 2013.  Teachers who have posted already but not been funded yet do not need to re-post, their request will automatically be part of the 2nd round consideration.

We encourage community members to view and fund the projects and help teachers create these experiences for students.

Visit to view teacher requests and fund grants online or call 643-4755 with the name of the grant you’d like to fund.