Emily Broughton, director of development, marketing and outreach for Preschool Promise, said the winners were able to take home a $500 check to spend as they wished.
Broughton said many early education teachers are especially underpaid in the teaching profession but buy their own supplies for classrooms. One teacher said she bought shoes for her students, Broughton said.
“We know a lot of these teachers go home and go to the store and spend money on the kids out of their own pockets,” Broughton said.
Broughton said the event was also a way for the teachers to connect with each other. Being a teacher can be isolating, she said, because most of the time a teacher is with kids in their classroom, and many teachers have their own families and second jobs because they make so little. Giving them space to connect in this way can be helpful, she said.
“We know these people do this work because they have a passion for the kids, first and foremost,” Broughton said. “And so often people underestimate the effect they have on children.”
Preschool Promise is a nonprofit that helps kids get ready for kindergarten. The organization works with children in Dayton, Jefferson Twp., Kettering, Mad River, Northridge, Trotwood-Madison, West Carrollton and Huber Heights school districts.
PNC Bank, Dayton Children’s’ Hospital and Oregon Printing sponsored Thursday’s event.