Final Countdown Begins for the "We Appreciate Teachers" Contest, Closes April 1st

Your Nomination Counts: Last Chance to Highlight Illinois Teachers Making a Difference - the clock is ticking!

CHICAGO – With just a few days left until the nomination period closes on Monday, April 1st, Back 2 School America is issuing a final call to action for the "We Appreciate Teachers" Contest. This urgent reminder emphasizes that it's not too late to recognize the incredible educators across Illinois who go above and beyond for their students. Community members, students, parents, and fellow educators are all encouraged to act now to ensure their favorite teachers receive the acknowledgment they truly deserve.

The "We Appreciate Teachers" Contest is the annual initiative by Back 2 School America, which aims to highlight and celebrate the dedication, creativity, and impact of teachers in under-resourced communities throughout Illinois. Twenty-five winning teachers are to be honored on May 10th (during National Teacher Appreciation Week) at a dazzling champagne reception.

The contest not only brings much-deserved attention to these unsung heroes but also provides valuable resources to enhance their classrooms and support their students' educational journey.

  • Nomination Deadline: April 1, 2024
  • Nomination site:
  • Winners Announcement: April 11, 2024
Website preview
Karen Blase
Back 2 School America's "We Appreciate Teachers" Contest

2023 Winning Teacher Highlight – Karen Blase

Back 2 School America handing out school supply kits to kids at Stone Academy in Chicago


Why Nominate Now?

  • Urgency: With the nomination window closing in just five days, time is of the essence. Don’t miss this opportunity to shine a light on a teacher who has made a significant difference.
  • Impact: Each winning teacher will receive a lavish Teacher Appreciation Gift Basket, VIP tickets to a special award ceremony, and 30 Back 2 School Kits for their students, directly reducing the out-of-pocket expenses many educators face.
  • Support: By nominating, you're not just recognizing a teacher; you're actively contributing to creating a more equitable educational environment in Illinois.


Prizes for Winning Teachers

  1. Each winning teacher is bestowed a lavish Teacher Appreciation Gift Basket filled with wine, gift cards, chocolates, coffee, and much more.
  2. A pair of VIP tickets to a dazzling champagne teacher award reception.
  3. Thirty (30) Back 2 School Kits for each student in their classroom, to assist in reducing their out-of-pocket spending.


Supporting Facts

  • Significant Out-of-Pocket Spending: The majority of public school teachers spend an average of $673 annually on classroom supplies, as revealed by a survey conducted by the Association of American Educators (AAE), which included over 1,100 educators.
  • Widespread Financial Contributions by Teachers: It's estimated that over 90 percent of teachers use their own money to purchase school supplies and other items necessary for their student's success.
  • Under-Resourced Schools Exacerbate Issues: The lack of resources in schools and the implicit expectation for teachers to spend their own money contribute to driving them away from the profession.


About Back 2 School America

The Back 2 School program was launched in 2007 to address the pressing needs of communities and the inequities in educational opportunities for children. 

In 2015 the nonprofit changed its name to Back 2 School Illinois (B2SI) to reflect the work of the organization. In the summer of 2018, B2SI expanded and launched Back 2 School America, to provide Back 2 School kits to children across the USA. 

Today, B2SA continues to provide children of low-income households with free school supplies to help level the playing field and lessen the financial burden on their families and their teachers. The Back 2 School program has provided more than 350,000 children with their own school supply kit. The organization’s long-term goal is to make sure that all children in the USA are provided with the school supplies they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.


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