Craven County Schools Partners in Education receives grant for beginning teacher’s store


NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — The Craven County Schools Partners in Education program recently received a $60,000 grant. It will give new teachers a financial boost to start their classrooms and also benefit individual schools in the district.

Starting any new job can be hard to get the resources needed for success, but starting as a teacher and getting all the resources for students can be even more challenging. That’s why the Craven County Schools Partners in Education opened the Beginning Teacher’s Store 14 years ago.

“They come into the classroom and they don’t really have the foundation to launch themselves into their classroom,” said Darlene Brown, Partners in Education director.

Half of the $60,000 grant received from the Harold H. Bate Foundation will help new teachers get resources through the store. The other half of the money will go to individual schools to fund music education and physical fitness.

Brown says the Beginning Teacher’s Store helps Craven County hire new teachers.

“It’s an important recruitment and retention program that is part of Craven County Schools’ focus on getting new teachers,” said Brown.

New teachers to the county district are enrolled in a mentor program. With the help of their mentor, they shop for classroom supplies in the store.

“It’s set up like a store and their currency is light bulbs,” said Brown. “Some of the items are whiteboards and crayons. There are also things you wouldn’t think about, like bean bag chairs. There are just all kinds of different things that the teacher might need.”

Teachers earn their light bulb currency by attending professional development or events hosted by the school system. Brown says Craven County is unique for offering this program.

“We can offer help for them to help them get set up in their classroom through this Beginning Teacher’s Store,” Brown said.

She says the money from the grant will give teachers and students the resources needed to be successful, not only for this school year, but for years to come.

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