In Your Opinion: Franklin Township Warrior Education Foundation Seeks Public’s Support For Teacher Grants

By John Felix, Somerset.

In March 2019, the Franklin Township Warrior Education Foundation (FTWEF) was conceived as a not-for-profit organization with the stated mission of “providing support to the Franklin Township Public Schools as they work to provide equitable, enriching learning experiences for all students”.

The Foundation, which is loosely partnered with the Board of Education (BOE), was established partly to mitigate the BOE’s economic challenges to implement costly mandated state and federal educational programs to its students while safeguarding their social and emotional growth. These measures have led to continuous financial strain on our school district budget, and consequentially teachers spending their own money, estimated to be $745 annually, on students’ needs in the form of purchasing classroom supplies. The FTWEF aspires to minimize, if not eliminate, teachers’ classroom expenses.

To that end, the FTWEF is keen to award grants to teachers whose projects creatively connect with their students while enhancing their learning experience. The grant application has basic eligibility criteria, and the process is designed for ease and efficiency.

The criteria include but not limited to: (a) detailed description of project’s goal, timeline, affected grade level and relevance to the curriculum and alignment with learning standards (b) number of students impacted and measurable effectiveness of the project (c) itemized list, quantity, and cost of materials (d) project’s lead and/or participants for designing and implementation.

The grant application is available to teachers via a secure web-based portal, and the application process opens at the beginning (September) of the school year and ends in mid-November. During that period teachers from all schools are encouraged to submit a proposal focused on educational experiences and learning opportunities that fall outside the funding of the traditional school budget. A FTWEF sub-committee will review all projects after which awardees will be notified by mid-December. The awarded projects must be completed in the classroom or specified location between January and June of the same school year.

During the past three years the FTWEF solicited the engagement of and support from the Franklin Township community for its annual Golf Fundraising events with the sole purpose of establishing a pool of money which will be used to offer small grants to teachers. To date, we’ve organized three Golf Fundraising events, and awarded grants of $6,280 in 2002 and $4,705 in 2021 for a myriad of student-focused projects. The 2022/2023 school year awardees were 14 teachers from 5 schools and for the 2021/2022 school year, 9 teachers from 5 schools received funding.

We are in the process of reviewing the 2023/2024 grant applications. To date, the average grant per project is $458. The minimum, maximum and median awarded grant is $229, $500 and $496, respectively. Based on proceeds from this year’s Gold Fundraiser, we are financially solvent and poised to support our teachers’ needs.

The varied range of awarded projects for the past two school years included Gardening, Sustainable Jersey Juniors Garden, Multi-Media, Aspects of Video Awards, Life Sciences & STEM Labs, Race/Gender/Equity, Diversity Night, Quiet Coxy Reading, Book Club, TREP$ entrepreneurship Club, Books for ESL students, Self-Published Books, Outdoor Classroom, Stress & Fidget Sensory Development, Author visit, Readers of the Month Wall of Leaders, Spirit items for JLC trip (the Foundation does not fund school trips), Human Rights Summer Institute and Outdoor Classroom.

Despite COVID-19 pandemic challenges, the FTWEF trustees steadfastly focused on achieving its objective of augmenting the learning experiences of our public schools’ pupils by providing support to their teachers in the form of small grants. We are pleased that school principals and administrators, teachers’ unions and the Franklin Township community and businesses have supported our Fundraising campaign allowing us to accomplish our goals. We are particularly grateful to Superintendent Dr. John Ravally for his guidance and BOE president Ms. Nancy LaCorte and its members for their respective support.

Join us in building a strong educational enclave where all students can receive and benefit from an engaged and caring community. We can be reached at ftwarrioredfoundation@gmail.com. Please donate to our 501(c)3 Foundation at https://www.ftwarrioref.org/shop. All donations are tax deductible as permitted by law.

Your Thoughts


Please Support Independent Journalism In Franklin Township!

No other media outlet covering Franklin Township brings you the depth of information presented by the Franklin Reporter & Advocate. Period. We are the only truly independent media serving the Eight Villages.

But we can only do that with your support. Please consider a yearly subscription to our online news site; at $37 a year, it’s one of the best investments you can make in our community.

To subscribe, please click here.

Other News From The Eight Villages …