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Local business gives teachers money through grant program

POSTED April 5, 2011 10:57 p.m.

Two years ago GDI president Grant Davis started the “Adopt-A-Teacher” grant program. But in two years Davis said he has only received a grand total of two requests for funds.

In these budget-wary times local school teachers can receive up to $250 for classroom needs, ranging from books to flowers for a class garden. GDI plans on awarding as much as four $250 grants each month — once educators start asking.

Davis and one of his sons have struggled with dyslexia and Davis said the grant is a way for him to give back to Turlock-area teachers for the work they do.

“If it wasn’t for the extra attention and dedication from my teachers, I would have never made it, I just want to do this because I want teachers to know that their community supports them and the help they gave me and my son. There was always a teacher who went the extra mile,” he said.

In the coming weeks Davis and other GDI employees plan on reaching out to Turlock area schools through newsletters, campus announcements and social networking.

“While we can’t give out millions, every little bit helps, especially with this economy,” said Davis.

The grant process is simple for teachers, explained Davis.

“It’s our money and we are just giving it away to teachers, all they have to do is just ask us, it’s really that simple. As we looked into setting up a program we were, interestingly, met with several road blocks and red tape, we decided to do it ourselves, without anyone’s permission. We will provide the assistance directly and personally to each teacher to be used for their students,” said Davis.

 

If grant requests overwhelm GDI, Davis said he has friends and clients who are current or former educators who would look at the request and prioritize them. When applying, teachers are encouraged to be specific as to what they need and what those items will do to benefit their students.

 

“This is really a great deal; I’m just disappointed no one has asked for help, other than those two teachers,” he said.

One of the former grant recipients, Turlock High School science teacher Tamara Littlewood, used the grant money for the Science Olympiad team. She purchased study materials, a field guide and it paid for the entrance fee to the Science Bowl, as well as building materials including dowling, PVC pipes and glue.

The other recipient, Ceres teacher Donna Colbert, used her grant to help fund a new garden for her class.

Davis wants schools to know he is also available to talk with students who have dyslexia.

“I want them to know that I know how tough it is but don’t give up, eventually it will all come together,” he said.

For more information on applying for the grant visit http://www.gdiinsurance.com/contact-us/gdi-recommends/adopt-a-teacher.

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail jmccorkell@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext 2015.

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