Nonprofit raising funds to support Lee schools

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A nonprofit organization that helps Lee County teachers purchase classroom equipment is in the middle of a corporate fundraising drive.
The organization, Exceptional Progress in Education through Curriculum and Technology, uses the money it raises to fund grant requests by the district’s educators.
“It is important because the teachers really need things in their classroom and this is the source they can go to when there is not another source,” said ExPECT President Lynn Keith. “It helps the teacher do some extra things in their classroom they might not be able to do.”
Teachers will make funding requests at the beginning of the school year, and the organization will award its grants sometime in the fall.
Last year, 43 grants were submitted and 21 were funded, including 19 that were fully funded. More than $60,000 in grants were requested, and the organization was able to fund $23,488.
Items that were paid for with the grants included science lab materials, books, art supplies, field trips, computers, projectors, digital cameras, printers and other technology.
Teacher grant requests are scored on a rubric and based upon needs in the district and the number of students that can be helped.
The corporate campaign will run through the month of March and has a goal of raising $15,000, Keith said. The organization, which has a few other fundraisers, would like to be able to fund $30,000 in grants this fall.
This is ExPECT’s third corporate campaign since its creation in the 1980s. The group has about 400 members, including teachers, parents, businesses and community members.
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@journalinc.com.