About JPEF/Community First Cares Foundation Classroom Grants


The Jacksonville Public Education Fund and the Community First Cares Foundation (the nonprofit arm of Community First Credit Union) have launched a new and expanded classroom grant program to provide $50,000 in grants to support critical work for students during a challenging new school year. The partnership is the largest grant program of its kind for both organizations, who have worked together on several similar grant programs in the past few years.

The matching fund is now live on DonorsChoose.com.   



Teachers who work in Title I traditional and charter public schools in Duval County are eligible to apply for funds to support creative problem-solving projects that will create a warm, loving environment for students and drive student achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples include flexible seating options to help students social distance, purchasing individual supply caddies so that students don’t need to share materials and games and hands-on activities to make sure students have fun learning. JPEF has established a community review process that will carefully vet projects for need and impact. Each teacher can apply for up to $1,000. Teachers can learn more at jaxpef.org/community-first. 

“This partnership continues on a long tradition of collaboration between JPEF and Community First to support Duval County educators, and we could not be more proud to stand alongside teachers during this difficult time,” said JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune. “We are so grateful for the vision and generosity of the Community First Cares Foundation.” 

”As an organization founded by educators, we are proud to support teachers in our community achieve more in the classroom than traditional funding provides,” said Missy Peters, executive director of the Community First Cares Foundation. “This program is even more critical now given the severe impacts of the pandemic.”  

In addition, the Community First gift will support JPEF’s Teacher Leadership Initiative, which equips Teachers of the Year with best practices to support leadership in schools across Duval County. JPEF has developed a robust professional learning experience for teachers to learn equity-focused best practices in cohorts to support colleague-led learning and leadership across the school year.

How to Apply: Information for Teachers


The JPEF/ Community First Cares classroom projects are an innovative model designed for maximum impact in the classroom. Through the process, eligible teachers will set up projects on DonorsChoose, a giving platform. JPEF is convening a community selection committee that will identify projects with the most potential for student impact and nominate them for matching funds. After a project is selected, JPEF and Community First will match every dollar given to the teacher's project from the community. Teachers can help their projects get funded by promoting the project on DonorsChoose to their school communities, encouraging their supporters to double their impact through the JPEF/Community First match. Matching funds will become available on Sept. 1. 


Please note: It is very important you include "Community" in your project title.


  1. Applicants must currently serve as a teacher in a traditional or charter public school in Duval County that has a Title I designation. Preference will be shown to schools with a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) low-income distinction.

  2. Select teachers that serve in other high-needs classrooms in non-Title 1 schools will also be considered.

  3. Teachers must spend at least 50% of their workweek in direct classroom instruction. In-person and virtual teachers will be given equal consideration.

  4. Projects should emphasize “Creative Problem Solving” in the face of the current challenging environment. Materials requested should help students succeed given the needs for classrooms that emphasize social distancing and increasingly individualized instruction in balance with best practices for a warm, loving atmosphere. Examples include furniture for flexible seating and social distancing, individual supply caddies to limit sharing, and games, sports equipment, magazine subscription to help make learning fun during stressful times.

  5. Projects will also be evaluated on the following criteria:

    • Number of students impacted by the materials

    • Sustainability of the project/materials

    • Total amount of funds given to a particular school

  6. Projects should not include the following items:

    • Computers

    • Printers

    • Celebrations  

    • Perishable items

    • Cleaning supplies or soap and sanitizer

    • Items as identified by Committee members


Start your project now on DonorsChoose! (Remember to put "community" in the project title.) If you need help with your project or want learn how you can support teachers, please contact Warren Buck, Director of Teacher Leadership, at warren@jaxpef.org.

Upcoming Event

Election Day

This fall, voters will have a chance to determine the direction of our public schools through four School Board elections and a referendum on a half-penny sales tax for Duval County Public Schools.

  • Date: Tuesday, Nov 03, 2020
  • Time: 12:00AM to 11:59PM
  • Where: Your polling place
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