Back 2 School Illinois, a Chicago-based nonprofit that provides tens of thousands of deserving children from low-income families with free school supplies to help them succeed in the classroom, has announced the launch of its competition. 2021 We Appreciate Teachers. The statewide initiative is designed to celebrate and support Illinois educators, particularly during COVID-19, by rewarding 10 winning teachers with 30 Back 2 School Illinois kits – filled with much-needed school supplies – for their class of students. Winners will also receive personalized gift baskets for themselves and in-salon treatment from Dennis Bartolomei.
Anyone can submit a request on behalf of a teacher, including the teacher themselves. The teacher must be currently employed by an Illinois school.
To enter, complete the We Appreciate Teachers Contest online application available at b2si.org/we-appreciate-teachers-contest, or print and complete the application form, then mail it to B2SI. All applications must be completed by September 24 and include an essay (ranging from 250 to 500 words) explaining how the designated teacher goes above and beyond to positively impact the lives of her students. The winning teachers will be notified by October 1.
“In these difficult times, teachers have had to work even harder to make sure their students stay connected and learn,” said Back 2 School Illinois CEO Matthew Kurtzman. “With our campaign, we are celebrating the creativity, ingenuity and pushing beyond that teachers took to provide Illinois schoolchildren with an education during COVID-19.”
The Back 2 School program was launched in 2007 by the Illinois Community Currency Exchange Association to address urgent community needs and inequities in educational opportunities for children. In 2015, the non-profit organization changed its name to Back 2 School Illinois to reflect the work of the organization.
Today, B2SI is the state’s largest free school supplies program, serving children in low-income households and reducing the financial burden on their families. The Back 2 School program has provided more than 279,000 children with their own school supply kit since its inception. The long-term goal of the organization is to provide more than one million Illinois children from low-income families each year with the school supplies they need to be successful in the classroom.
In the summer of 2018, B2SI launched Back 2 School America, which aims to provide Back 2 School kits to children in the United States.