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Program helps teachers provide more than classroom education

Program helps teachers provide more than classroom education

Program helps teachers provide more than classroom education

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Every school year, teachers in Massachusetts and across the country use their own money to pay for items in their classrooms and for students who do not receive supplies from school districts.

In Massachusetts, members of the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) have a union program that provides funds for the purchase of clothing and other items for students experiencing financial hardship.


The MTA’s Massachusetts Child program offers grants to MTA members who serve public school students in preschool through 12th grade. During the 2023-24 school year, educators in more than 40 districts used the grants to purchase more than $55,000 in goods, ensuring students had adequate clothing, especially during the winter months, to address food insecurity and ensure that the students had articles. they needed to succeed in vocational programs.

The nonprofit charitable program was created in 1996 as a way for teachers to support students in need with clothing, school supplies, eyeglasses and other items not provided by schools but necessary for children’s educational success. .

The Mass Child Board of Directors, which is made up of current and retired educators, issued this statement:

“Every day, educators do everything they can to help children grow and reach their potential. And for some children, reaching that potential is hindered because they lack the resources to have basic items like a backpack, glasses, or a warm winter coat. We are proud of the teachers, paraprofessionals, nurses, librarians, counselors, and other school staff who notice the needs of their students and provide them with the elements that can increase their self-esteem and help them participate more fully in their schoolwork. “

Mass Child, which is funded entirely through donations, provides each MTA preK-12 local association with a minimum amount of $1,000, or up to $2 per member for local unions with more than 500 members, to purchase items for students.

Additionally, a donation from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts allowed Mass Child to create a Wellness Grant to purchase items such as sports and exercise equipment, as well as to assist students participating in arts and science projects. Mass Child also offers grants for a reading program and help with fees for school-based extracurricular activities.

The following Western Massachusetts school districts received Mass Child grants in the 2023-24 school year: Amherst-Pelham, Berkshire Hills, Central Berkshire Regional, Chicopee, Greenfield, Hampshire Regional, Lee, Pathfinder Regional, Pittsfield, Ware, Westfield and Westhampton .

WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in March 1953 to provide local news, network, local and syndicated programming for Western Massachusetts. Watch the digital edition of 22News weekdays at 4 pm on WWLP.com.