By Press Release Submitted to Published Aug 16, 2023 at 12:01 PM

In response to over 90 percent of teachers paying for school supplies out of pocket, the Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation has recognized the need for a transformative approach to classroom supply fundraising in Milwaukee.

The MPS Foundation is proud to introduce its new pilot initiative, the Classroom Support Fund. In its inaugural year, the fund will provide 25 schools (list below) with dedicated funds to be used for traditional and non-traditional materials, personal supplies, teacher grants, and other vital items needed to create an optimal environment for teaching and learning. Discover more about this initiative and contribute at

This initiative is made possible through a strategic collaboration between the MPS Foundation, the school district, and EZ Office Products. Through this partnership, teachers and schools will have the convenience of online shopping, allowing them to acquire necessary supplies precisely when needed and have them delivered directly to their school throughout the year.

Inspired by the accomplishments of the Madison Public Schools Foundation’s Teacher Support Network, the Classroom Support Fund aspires to redefine classroom supply fundraising by providing sustained, year-round assistance to multiple schools. It seeks to expand beyond traditional supply funding, embracing diverse materials, and offering convenient delivery services.

This initiative will replace the longstanding annual back-to-school fundraising campaign, "No Empty Backpacks," which was co-organized by the MPS Foundation, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, and the school district for the past seven years.

The campaign receives a significant initial boost from Educators Credit Union, who is graciously contributing $40,000. Additionally, Jammin’ 98.3 will host a two-day radiothon on August 24-25 where listeners will hear positive stories from MPS alumni and have a chance to contribute.

There will also be a free concert fundraiser organized by MPS alum and successful music artist Emmitt James at Third Space Brewing on August 25.

John Kersey, Board President of the MPS Foundation, remarked, “Teachers are real-life heroes. At the MPS Foundation, we want to solidify this sentiment with concrete support. As educators in Milwaukee face shortages and burnout, we hope our effort can make a modest contribution to those in most need. We extend our gratitude to Educators Credit Union for their belief in this endeavor, and we hope their generosity ignites a spirit of giving in others.”

The Classroom Support Fund is structured to address three key areas:

  • Classroom Supplies: From books and headphones to calculators and recess equipment, the fund ensures that classrooms are fully equipped to foster a conducive learning environment. This support plays a crucial role in elevating the quality of education students receive.
  • Personal Supplies: The fund also extends its reach to support students' basic needs, such as soap, deodorant, hair products, feminine hygiene products, food, and clothing. By catering to these necessities, the fund recognizes the importance of holistic student well-being.
  • Teacher Grants & Student Programming + Professional Development: Recognizing the vital role of educators in shaping students' lives, the Classroom Support Fund includes provisions for teacher grants. This empowers teachers to enhance student learning experiences and invest in their own professional growth.

Participating schools include:

  • ALBA Elementary School
  • Audubon High School
  • Barbee Montessori School
  • Bay View High School
  • Carver Academy
  • Congress School
  • Doerfler Elementary
  • Engleburg Elementary
  • Benjamin Franklin School
  • Goodrich Elementary
  • Greenfield School
  • Groppi High School
  • Hampton School
  • Hawley Environmental School
  • Hayes Bilingual School
  • Hi-Mount Community School
  • Humboldt Park School
  • Kilbourn School
  • Rufus King IB Middle School
  • Kluge School
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary
  • Rogers Street Academy
  • Roosevelt Creative Arts Middle School
  • Washington High School of Information Technology
  • Westside Academy

For more information about the Classroom Support Fund and the MPS Foundation's other initiatives, please visit