While technology is vastly changing the way students learn in classrooms, with some schools equipping their students with iPads, many West County public school teachers struggle to equip their pupils with basic materials like books and quality paper.

Charis West, a Grant Elementary kindergarten teacher, said cost restraints prevented her from procuring a set of markers for her classroom and also forced her students to use cheap, flimsy newsprint for lessons requiring higher-quality chart paper.

Despite the bleak picture, this spring local teachers like West received a much-needed boost from the Chamberlin Family Foundation’s Gratitude Grants program, which provided $61,000 in grants ($250 per teacher) for the purchase of books, basic supplies and other academic needs.

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