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Our Favorite Time of the Year

Friends,

Today marks our favorite time of the year as teachers and students return to the classroom for another year of learning and growth. In the days leading up to the first day of school, Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) has continued to support and elevate Duval’s excellent educators, families and children. On Aug. 4, I attended the New Town Success Zone’s back-to-school event where JPEF gave away school supplies and invited attendees to thank their favorite teacher by writing a message as part of our Teachers Are More campaign; we received over 416 messages! Earlier this week, our team conducted Operation Donut Drop to bring donuts to schools across the district to celebrate teachers and staff as they prepare to welcome their students.

Now, more than ever, our teachers need community support. Research consistently shows that the most decisive school-based factor in determining student academic achievement is teacher quality. However, teachers both locally and nationally are leaving the profession at concerning rates. As we begin the 2018-19 school year, we remain more committed than ever to supporting our great teachers and celebrating quality learning occurring in our schools, from encouraging folks to share appreciation through the Teachers Are More Campaign to elevating some of the extraordinary teachers Duval has to offer through the EDDY’s Experience.

Our Teachers Are More than instructional experts and often go above and beyond the call of duty - they’re friends, mentors, support systems and caretakers who shape young lives. Teachers lay the foundation for what our city is and what it has the potential to be. Join us in our efforts to reach 100,000 thanks by celebrating your favorite teacher on social media with the hashtag #JaxThanksATeacher and mentioning @JaxPEF. And thank YOU for your commitment to our city’s children and our public schools.

Rachael Tutwiler Fortune, Interim President
Jacksonville Public Education Fund