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Locals urged to use grants to help students

The Massachusetts Child Did you know that every MTA preK-12 local is eligible to receive $750 or more each school year to help students succeed?

It’s true. The Massachusetts Child provides grants to preK-12 locals to cover the costs of a wide range of items and services, including school supplies, educational field trips, medical supplies, clothing and much more. The MTA charity provides grants of up to $750 to locals with 500 or fewer members. Locals with more than 500 members are eligible to receive $1.50 per member.

“I’m constantly amazed by the generosity of my teaching colleagues, who give so much to their students,” said Christine Mulroney, president of The Massachusetts Child, which was founded in 1996. “By taking advantage of a grant from The Mass Child, your local association can help even more students and reimburse educators who open up their wallets for ‘their’ kids.”

Responding to the economic downturn, Mass Child’s board opted last year to increase the amount available to MTA locals from $500 to $750 per school year for smaller locals and increased the sum available to large locals, from $1 to $1.50 per member.

“Please make this the year that your local takes advantage of the funds available through the Mass Child grant program,” Mulroney said. “Despite our best efforts, our locals don’t always take advantage of the financial assistance we offer them.”

Those who receive the grants find them invaluable.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! Because of the MTA’s kindness, I was able to purchase two complete toolkits and belts for students,” said Sue Gierej, a teacher at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School and longtime participant in the Mass Child program.

Educators use the money in many different ways. In the 2012-13 school year, grant money was awarded to reimburse MTA local associations that purchased everything from work boots to winter coats and toiletries for students. The Mass Child does not reimburse for food or for gift cards.

To participate in the program, MTA preK-12 local association leaders must first purchase items and/or services for students, then submit the receipts to the board of The Massachusetts Child. The board meets several times during the school year to review requests so local associations are not left carrying a big bill for too long.

For more information, contact Massachusetts Child President Christine Mulroney by calling 508.846.4257 or e-mailing clmulroney@gmail.com. Fact sheets and reimbursement forms for The Massachusetts Child grant program are available on the MTA website at www.massteacher.org/masschild.