Teachers Put in Extra Work to Help Fund Supplies for Students


Balvina Parra

Teacher Jill Lytle standing next to items bought from fund-raised money for AP Environmental.

Balvina Parra, Berenice Jimenez, Paola Guillen, and Isaac Esqueda, Reporters

Teachers are working tirelessly to gain money and extra supplies due to the district’s lack of funds.

“There are things that I wanted to be able to do for my students that I couldn’t afford on our budget, which is very limited,” said Jill Lytle AP Environmental and Biology teacher. For some teachers, the day doesn’t end at 2:47 p.m. Many are constantly seeking ways to bring in money for supplies, athletic gear, and field trips for their students.

“We can’t directly raise money so it’s about finding financial aid and grant opportunities, spending a lot of time talking to people and searching on the internet,” said Lytle.

Donors Choose is a grant website that Lytle uses to apply for grants. On this website, you choose what type of funding you would like, give an explanation of what your students need and if donors like it, they contribute. Instead of getting the money directly, you receive the actual supplies which are what Lytle really likes about this website.

Grant websites have helped Lytle apply for over 20 grants which are well over $40,000 of grants and financial aid packages. She uses the grants for her AP Environmental class and as well as 3-5 field trips over the last six years  

For the Art Club, everything was gumdrops and chocolate chips until things took a turn. Ice cream was one of the club’s signature ways of funding, in fact, it became so popular they decided to make an ice cream logo for their sweatshirts. However, that opportunity melted away because the cafeteria no longer had a freezer for them to store the ice cream.

At back to school night, they decided to sell bubbles in shapes of pineapples, guitars, and cell phones, which was a great success. Most of the funds this year have gone to yarn and snacks for the upcoming field trip to Los Angeles in May. Club members have been creating extraordinary art pieces named “God’s eye” and “Blobs” which serve as a form of therapy and enhance their knowledge of Mexican art.

Teachers on campus have also been contributing to Art Club by donating the wrappers from their Cuties (oranges), which is used as the top layer for the blobs. With or without help from the district, Art Club has been able to continue to supply themselves with necessities and go on field trips.

Jessica Morris, the swim and water polo coach, also does fundraising with the help of her team. Every day the swim team goes classroom to classroom picking up bottles and using those bottles to get funding to help pay for their athletic gear and sweatshirts.

“The money is used to pay for tournament entry fees and to lower the suit costs ($87 is the price of a suit for water polo),” said Morris. The aquatics program makes about $2000 a year recycling plastic bottles. They also fundraise during the school year such as Winter Carnival, Back to School Night, Open House and this year they sold beverages at Sadies.

Lately, Greg Coombs, the Athletic Director, fundraises through basketball tournaments and the pancake breakfast which is held every year at Guaranteed Chevrolet. “With these assets, we can purchase the necessary equipment for sports like basketballs or other sports.”

Sports needs vary from year to year depending on what is needed. For basketball tournaments, they invite teams to the tournament to see how great the school looks and play their games. They charge admission for entering the tournament and depending on how many teams there are, that’s how much money they will likely raise.

There is nothing worse than being held back due to lack of money, which is why teachers have been teaching their students to find new ways to get funding.

But “Instead of worrying about money, it would be nice to just teach.” said Lytle

Here is a website that can help you teachers find grants!!!