IMMOKALEE, Fla. — We keep hearing about it.
Counties need more teachers in the classroom, and teachers say they need more money to give children the best educational experience in the classrooom - an experience that matters.
Collier County Public Schools says nearly 50% of children in their classrooms are considered "economically needy" - which only reinforces the important of what students are learning and experiencing in school.
Taking a look around Ms. Ysela Quintana's Kindergarten through 5th grade technology classroom, you'll notice a lot of "merch" (as the young kids call it these days). Items ranging from journals to travel mugs and all part of what students are learning while in school at Eden Park Elementary School in Immokalee.
In addition to learning how to physically make these items, students are learning "business skills", too. That's because their items are often purchased by other students and by staff at school.
Ms. Quintana says help to create a system like this comes from the community - specifically grant money she received from the nonprofit Champions for Learning. She says funding from the group helps students to create the items that they sell.
"That's an organization that really cares about students and teachers," she tells FOX 4.
They do that, representatives tell us, in many ways.
One includes funding - a need Allisa McCormick from the group says is constant.
She says the organization already filled $270,000 grant requests from educators in Collier County for the 2023-2024 school year.
That money, she says, helps to support 435 classrooms and 62 schools in the county.
McCormick says donations vary and you can contribute what works for your budget.
Click here for more information.