Back-to-School Supplies Drive Sends $62,000 to Schools

Members of the Teacher’s Fund organizing committee (from left to right): Sheela Hunt, Leanne Wood, Ivonne Arroyo, Renee Grubb, Brianna Johnson, Dianne Johnson, Candace Cavaletto, Alyssa Jones, Angel Speier.
Not pictured: Amy Abbott.

Santa Barbara-area teachers welcoming students back to their classroom this fall will do so buoyed by over $62,000 raised by the local non-profit Teacher’s Fund.

This year’s annual Back-to-School Drive was especially meaningful – and needed – as teachers bought new tools, learning materials and otherwise equipped their classrooms for students making the transition back to in-person learning. Community members and local businesses eagerly answered the calls for help, driving the donation total beyond the goal of $60,000.

Donors also sponsored individual teachers’ requests for making their learnings even richer through specialty art, language and math subscriptions; more comfortable, with adjustable work benches and classroom rugs; and adaptable for new indoor-outdoor learning environments.

“I’m thrilled students are back in the classroom, alongside friends and the rest of the school community where they learn best and have strong in-person support,” said Village Properties Realtor Brianna Johnson and event co-chair, who had the idea for the first drive back in 2019. “And I’m so appreciative to businesses and community members who are helping ensure students have what it takes to help make that transition as successfully as possible.”

Renee Grubb, owner of Village Properties Realtors and founder of the Teacher’s Fund, said the generosity of the community never ceases to amaze her.

Grubb praised the tireless effort of the full committee: Johnson, Amy Abbott, Sheela Hunt, Angel Speier, Dianne Johnson, Candace Cavaletto, Alyssa Jones, Ivonne Arroyo, and Leanne Wood.

“It’s a team effort, and this team works so hard to make sure as many classrooms as possible get badly needed support,” Grubb said.

All money raised from the fundraiser goes directly to local kindergarten through 12th grade teachers to help them buy educational materials that enhance their students’ learning.

The Teacher’s Fund was created in 2002 by the owners of Village Properties as a way for teachers to request much needed supplies for their classrooms. Since then, the Teacher’s Fund has donated over $1.8 million to Santa Barbara-area schools, with 100 percent of the funds raised given directly to teachers for their classrooms. 

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