Monday, March 19 , 2018, 10:11 am | Fair 52º


Selling Houses and Funding Education: Local Realtors Lessen the Load for Teachers

Village Properties owners Renee Grubb and Ed Edick set up a nonprofit organization called the Teacher’s Fund. Since its inception in 2002, it has awarded more than $1.5 million worth of supplies to more than 2,600 teachers in the Santa Barbara area.
Village Properties owners Renee Grubb and Ed Edick set up a nonprofit organization called the Teacher’s Fund. Since its inception in 2002, it has awarded more than $1.5 million worth of supplies to more than 2,600 teachers in the Santa Barbara area. (Village Properties photo)

If you see someone in an office supply store buying 30 packs of crayons, they’re probably not hoarding art supplies. Usually, that person is a teacher.

It is a common issue for school classrooms: Due to budget cuts to education, classroom supplies run low and teachers pay the price. Although the average for California education spending is $11,800 per student per year, the Santa Barbara Unified School District receives only $7,800 per student per year. With such a limited budget, Santa Barbara teachers often spend their own money to buy classroom supplies.

In 2002, Village Properties owners Renee Grubb and Ed Edick decided it was time to make a change. They set up a nonprofit organization called the Teacher’s Fund to supply Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria and Santa Ynez Valley teachers with the materials they need. With every property sale, Grubb, Edick and other Village Properties Realtors donate a portion of their commission directly to the Teacher’s Fund.

“Very soon after we opened the doors of Village we started getting requests for sponsorships and donations,” Grubb said. “We found that we were giving to many schools for their events and programs. We were brainstorming one day and kept hearing about how many teachers use their own funds when they want something for their classroom.”

Since its inception, the Village Properties Teacher’s Fund has awarded more than $1.5 million worth of supplies to more than 2,600 teachers in the Santa Barbara area. Public and private school teachers can apply online for basic school supplies like paper, markers, tape and paint, as well as supplies for bigger projects, such as iPads, cameras, projectors and computers. Ultimately, Grubb and Edick hope that the Teacher’s Fund will help to inspire and motivate students.

“As we all know, our children are our future," Grubb said. "We feel passionate that if we can fund those special teachers who want to bring exciting and worthwhile programs to their classroom to motivate their students, we want to help them accomplish their goals.”

The Santa Barbara community can also donate to the Teacher’s Fund or attend their charitable events, such as the Teacher’s Fund Golf Tournament. All donations go directly to teachers. Edick and Grubb’s vision for investing in our youth through the betterment of education is summed up by their motto, “We give 100% because our teachers give 100%.”

Due to Village Properties’ commitment to providing schools with educational materials and equipment, they have been chosen as honorees at the Santa Barbara Education Foundation’s 2015 HOPE Awards. The HOPE Awards event annually honors individuals, organizations and businesses in the Santa Barbara community that have made a significant contribution to public education.

The Santa Barbara Education Foundation is pleased to invite the Santa Barbara community to attend this year’s HOPE Awards to thank and to honor Village Properties.

The HOPE Awards will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 16 at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. The event will feature keynote speaker William Adams, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Giselle Fernandez, five-time Emmy-winning journalist as emcee. For more information regarding the event and to purchase tickets, please contact the Santa Barbara Education Foundation at 805.284.9125 or email [email protected].

Now in its 30th year, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation is a leader in nonprofit funding support for all of the children in Santa Barbara Unified School District’s 22 schools. Realizing that it really does take a village to provide a quality education for every one of our children, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation now supports early childhood education, parent education, violence prevention, mentoring and tutoring, music and even a Community Schools initiative where schools are becoming neighborhood hubs, offering after-school and evening programs for our children and their families.

— Alison Underwood represents the Santa Barbara Education Foundation.

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