Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 14, 2019 - 80

CAUSES
By Matt Villano
A music teacher in western Sonoma County used his wish for wooden flutes.
Great teachers are always looking for creative ways to
touch students' lives. Unfortunately, schools often do not
fund those special touches that so often change the course
of students' lives. In some classes, these educators wish
for books. In others, the needs are more basic: pens, paper,
maybe an overhead projector so students can follow
a lesson.
Since 2012, the John Jordan Foundation (JJF) has sought
to bridge some of these gaps with the Teachers' Wishes
initiative. The goal of the campaign is simple: to make
wishes for certain teachers come true. Every September,
teachers can submit applications to receive funding for one
wish. In seven years, the foundation has funded a total of
725 grants.
The Teachers' Wishes program set a new record in 2018.
The foundation received 243 applications and distributed
120 fully funded grants. The remaining 123 teachers each
received $20 gift cards to Office Depot. That means every
applicant received funding of some kind. Though there
have been years with more applications, 2018 brought
the largest number of wishes that JJF fulfilled since the
program's inception.
All told, the applicant pool represented 106 schools across
30 districts in Sonoma County. According to Lisa Wittke
Schaffner, executive director of the foundation, the breadth
and depth of the application pool was a reminder that
teachers are committed to doing their best. " Each year,
Teachers' Wishes reminds me of the creativity and desire
of educators to provide an interactive and interesting
environment for their students, " she said.
A handful of applications were particularly inspiring, such
as the one from Santa Rosa City Schools, in which a teacher
requested money to purchase more books to help students
prepare for the ACT, SAT and Advanced Placement exams,
as well as books to help students write college essays.
Or the application from a teacher in Sebastopol, who said
her school's campus is poorly landscaped and requested
money to buy some trees.
" This grant program allows teachers to have a new teaching
tool and purchase project supplies to get the kids excited
about learning, " Wittke Schaffner said.
The Teachers' Wishes program is an annual program,
which means teachers can submit new applications to fund
additional wishes as soon as September 2019.
A significant portion of the proceeds from Jordan Winery
fund the foundation, which works to fight the negative
health effects of poverty, improve and provide special
educational opportunities, and support children and
families in need. Learn more at johnjordanfoundation.org.
Matt Villano is a writer and editor based in Healdsburg. Learn more about him at whalehead.com.
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Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 14, 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 14, 2019

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