A Referral You’ll Feel Good About

I watched an amazing movie today.  It was not a blockbuster but it was an incredible story.  It was Freedom Writers starring Hilary Swank as a high school teacher in a difficult school.  The movie is based on a true story.   One of the secondary points of the movie really stood out to me.   The teacher that Swank played had a difficult time getting books from the school for her students.

I ran into a similar situation a couple years ago when the BNI-Misner Foundation had a request from a teacher that said the school’s library was only open one day a week and there were very limited books available to her students.  She said that she couldn’t teach students math, science, english, or history if they couldn’t read.   That request motivated us to focus more on providing mini-grants for teachers trying to obtain books for their students.  Watching Freedom Writers reinforced our interest in providing mini-grants directly to teachers in schools who need books.

So, why am I mentioning this???  “A referral you’ll feel good about” is any teacher you know who is looking for books for their class.  We’d like to consider them for a mini-grant ($500-$1,000 max).  If you know someone like this, have them send an email to bethmisner@bni.com who is the administrator for the BNI-Misner Foundation.  We’d  like to see if we can help.


16 thoughts on “A Referral You’ll Feel Good About

  1. Thanks so much for the opportunity to refer a teacher to the foundation. She is a teacher in a middle school here in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and works with children with developmental delays to help them with their communication skills, and had talked about getting some special computer programs to assist in her student’s learning capabilities. I called her to let her know about the possibilities are for obtaining a mini-grant for purchasing books (or computer programs) and she was ecstatic for the opportunity!

    What a generous gift this could be to help students with communication challenges in our area.

  2. I don’t think most people realize how widespread illiteracy is in modern America. So Northwest Ohio is hosting a fund-raiser October 24 that is both celebrating Debby Peters’ contributing authorship in Masters of Sales and donating all net proceeds to three local literacy programs.

    In addition, registrants are donating children’s books to be distributed throughout the area.

    It will be a fun night of networking, books sales and signings and a “Chinese auction” of donated door prizes.

    Contact mastersofsales@aol.com for more info.

  3. Are there other nonprofit groups to which the Foundation might extend grants? If so, could you please list a few. I am asking because I am on the Board of Directors for a local breast cancer awareness and support organization called Women Supporting Women. All monies they receive remain here in our community. Since beginning this organization 12 years ago out of the trunk of her car, the director has grown this organization so that it now has 3 other branches that help women and men with breast cancer. Not only do they provide literature and support, but also wigs and mastectomy bras. We are now entering into an Endowment campaign through our local Community Foundation to raise $20,000. Is this something the BNI Foundation might be interested in helping?

    Thanks so much.

    Ann Wiseman
    Ambassador, Lower Eastern Shore, Maryland BNI

  4. I worked in k-12 for several years and this will be a great donation and will help in more ways that you can imagine. Good reading skills is the catalyst to success in every other subject area.

    Great offer.

  5. This is great!

    How can this be the land of opportunity unless EVERYONE gets an opportunity?! Education is the key to strengthening our great country.

    Thank you. I will pass it on to my chapter members.

  6. I am a middle school teacher of the gifted and I am always in need of higher level novel sets for my classroom. Please let me know what I need tro do to be considered for a grant.

    Thank you,
    Michelle Fencl

  7. This is such a wonderful idea. I have a small classroom library, full of books that are older than me or falling apart. There are some great new titles out there that my students ask for but I do not have. Children need to feel excited about reading and by not having current titles I feel that I am not allow them to read at their best level.

  8. It is social consciousness like BNI-Misner Foundation that make me proud to be a member of BNI. Community service is high on the priority for many of my chapter’s members, and it’s nice to see it’s high on the BNI corporate priority list. Thank you for making me look good.

  9. I am interested in your book mini-grant. I am the librarian for this wonderful public high school of 3400 students. A partner-in-education and business owner for our school forwarded your information to me. Please advise.

  10. I would like to request a BNI mini-grant for
    Mrs. Miriam Parkerson, elementary teacher for Hilldale Elementary School. She has been a teacher for 29 years in the Putnam City School District in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
    Miriam has spent sizeable amounts of her check buying schools supplies, books, materials for her students. She teachs in an area that is very low income. Mrs. Parkerson is sometimes the first person to teach her students basic skills like how to tie their shoes, manners, how to act in public, etc. She teaches kindergarten. She sometimes buys them paper, pencils, tissue, as well as provides books, materials, learning programs. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

  11. I am a Special Ed. teacher at Weare Middle School. We have recently moved into a beautiful new school. The move was difficult. During the move alot of special ed. software got lost or stolen. My yearly budget had to absorb that cost of over $1200.00. I have students who have learned read from using the Reading Milestone Program. They need to move on to the next level, which I don’t have. I had planned to buy the last three levels for this year, but I do not have the money in my budget anymore. The ammount is $628.00.
    Thank you for your time. Ruth Cowan

  12. We’ve received many requests for the mini-grants from this blog posting. Some of you have asked for information on this blog but didn’t email Beth directly. To get more information, please contact BethMisner@bni.com for the information. Thanks!!!


  13. I am a member of the Kiwanis Club of Brewer. Our Priority is Young Children. We do donate books to the local library and would like to be considered for a grant to donate to a program of that library that encourages family reading.

  14. I am a Chapter President in Malaysia and would like to know if the BNI-Misner Foundation would consider giving a mini grant overseas. I shall e-mail Beth as requested, but am making submitting this post to suggest adding the ‘International’ part of BNI to grants as well. I would like to propose a grant for book donations to the marginalized children whom I volunteer with.

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