St Johns County teachers benefit from donations

Courtney Kraft, a teacher at Hartley Elementary School, informed local St Johns County news reporters at Historic City News that she has received funding for a “Hands on Alphabet” project through “”; a nonprofit organization that connects donors with public school teachers who need classroom materials.

She and fellow teacher Amber Phillips are now seeking funding for several other projects that will enhance the classroom experience for their students.

“Unfortunately, we have noticed over the last few years that students are starting to be affected by the economy,” Kraft said. “School supplies aren’t coming in as readily as they used to.”

Potential donors can easily find a project and contribute directly to the teacher of their choice at

Phillips is seeking funding that will improve her students’ reading skills. “My students that are not reading on grade level face the challenge of being able comprehend the stories that are shared and in the reading text every day,” she said. “My students work very hard to get closer and closer to their reading goal.”

Their projects are among nearly 20 classroom projects in St Johns County now seeking funding.

St Augustine Horace Mann insurance agent Shannon Millican has helped to fund 28 projects and has been telling teachers she meets while working in local schools about the organization.

Nationwide, Horace Mann has contributed $1.5 million to schools through since February 2011 — including $250,000 being given away this fall through the “Build a Better Classroom” project.

Kraft and Phillips are among 21 teachers in St Johns County who have received donations totaling $10,530 to fund 33 classroom projects during the past 12 months.

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