Many members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) are familiar with our charitable partner, the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF). TRTF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides resources for retired TRS annuitants as well as active and beginning teachers. Since 2008, TRTF has distributed more than $588,000 to educators of the past, present, and future all across Texas!
TRTF manages several charitable programs: “A Helping Hand,” the Disaster Relief Fund, Classroom Assistance Grants, and Beginning Teacher Scholarships. Additionally, TRTF supports the Lehr-Pritchard Endowment Fund to provide long-term revenue for “A Helping Hand,” and recently launched its latest endeavor—the TRTF Tutor Program—to reach every Texas child through reduced cost tutoring services.
How the Pandemic Has Changed Foundation Month
During previous Foundation Months, TRTF has recorded videos featuring program recipients sharing how the aid they received has impacted their lives and the lives of Texas school children. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, recipients were not able to meet with TRTF in person; but many still have very valuable, earnest stories to tell.
Many of our classroom teachers are overwhelmed with teaching hybrid onsite and online courses and with increased class sizes. Many are balancing this new work dynamic with being parents themselves. Some are first-year teachers and are entering the profession with high hopes, but limited resources.
Retirees who were able to substitute in schools for extra income have been out of work since the spring when schools were shut down and struggle to make ends meet. Some have contracted the virus and now face unexpected medical bills. Many just want to get back to helping their local schools and communities.
And though many of today’s students are technologically savvy, some struggle with virtual learning environments and need additional support outside of the classroom. Finding an affordable, reliable tutoring service is a necessity, but is hard to come by.
Education is vital. Every person who has a role to fill in our school system is significant. The pandemic has made TRTF’s goal to help educators of the past, present and future more important than ever!
TRTF knows that students, parents, schools, communities, and retired educators all have been adversely impacted COVID-19. We know that this situation is not yet over; but we believe we have a part to play in making it better.
There are more than 6 million students in our public schools and more than 800,000 education professionals working in 1,100-plus school districts across Texas. There are more than 400,000 TRS retirees, and 30 percent of them make less than $1,000 per month. They are ALL under pressure to do more than ever, and they are doing so in the most difficult conditions.
It is time to give big so that we may help our children, schools, teachers, and retirees. TRTF is determined to help. As a 501(c)(3), we are in a unique position to raise donations and deploy them through our unique charitable programs.
Please consider making your tax-deductible charitable contribution to TRTF today. You may donate online here or call 1.800.880.1650 and ask for Sarah.
Please stay tuned to the Inside Line throughout the month of November as we update you on TRTF’s programs and share stories from individual program recipients.
Classroom Assistance Grants:
- TRTF will provide 40 $500 Classroom Assistance Grants to public school teachers in Texas in 2021. (This is an increase from the 30 grants awarded in 2020).
Beginning Teacher Scholarships:
- TRTF will provide 25 $750 Beginning Teacher Scholarships to recent college graduates who will be teaching for the first time in the fall of 2021. (This is an increase from the 20 scholarships awarded in 2020).
“A Helping Hand”
- TRTF will provide $27,000 in grants to retirees in critical need through the “A Helping Hand” program in 2021.
- TRTF will be prepared should another disaster strike and be ready to aid retired and active educators in need at a moment’s notice, including providing urgent COVID-19 relief grants.
TRTF Tutor Program:
- TRTF has an ambitious goal to donate 250,000 hours of tutoring to Texas schools. To make this happen, we must raise $10 million. We also have an ambitious timeline to raise the necessary funding in 30 days!