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INK! receives $52,000 in grants for local teachers and students from partners Beaver Toyota St. Augustine and Community First Cares Foundation

St. Augustine, Fla. – January 5, 2021 – The St. Johns County Education Foundation which operates as INK! (Investing in Kids), has an ongoing mission to provide innovative programs and classroom resources to promote the academic success of students in the St. Johns County School District, Fla. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit was recently honored with $52,000 for teachers and students from donations provided by Beaver Toyota St. Augustine and Community First Cares Foundation. Schools will receive grant funding from the Champions for Children and Fund a Project programs. Teachers applied for support through video and online applications.

The donations range from a few hundred dollars to more than $2,000 and will benefit students of all needs attending Kindergarten through 12th grade at Allen D. Nease High School, Bartram Trail High School, Crookshank Elementary School, Cunningham Creek Elementary School, Durbin Creek Elementary School, Freedom Crossing Academy, Gamble Rogers Middle School, Julington Creek Elementary School, Ketterlinus Elementary School, Liberty Pines Academy, Mill Creek Academy, Osceola Elementary School, Otis A. Mason Elementary School, Pacetti Bay Middle School, Palm Valley Academy, Pedro Menendez High School, PVPV Rawlings Elementary School, Sebastian Middle School, South Woods Elementary School, St. Augustine High School, Transition School, and Wards Creek Elementary School.

Educational items requested include hundreds of items, supplies, and tools in technology, computers, student materials, books, art and music, furniture, gardening, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), among others.

In partnership with the Community First Credit Union’s Community First Cares Foundation, the Champions for Children program accepted applications for unique and original classroom projects. Selected projects were awarded $1,000 or more for teachers’ classrooms.

The mission of the Foundation is to fund high impact projects that build healthy communities by improving the educational system in the credit union’s service area. Grants will enhance financial literacy and supporting programs that improve the quality of life in Northeast Florida.

According to Missy Peters, Community First Cares Foundation executive director, the partnership with INK! helps to create opportunities for St. Johns County school teachers so they can continue to innovate while eliminating the barriers of funding. “All of our charitable giving projects directed to education are important to students and teachers. We are proud to work with our partners to create innovative ways to support educators,” she said. For more information, visit or call 904-371-8090.

The Beaver Toyota Fund A Program is a partner plan that benefits INK! and addresses applicant needs in priority areas including career and technical education, increasing graduation rates, literacy, low-performing students, STEM education, and teaching quality, along with school improvement plans in St. Johns County. Specifically, Beaver Toyota St. Augustine follows a mission to support the community where the car dealership does business.

“St. Augustine has welcomed us with amazing support. We give back to non-profit organizations that use a proactive approach towards solving problems within our community,” said Nick Reuther, Beaver Toyota St. Augustine’s General Manager. “We partner with non-profit groups to leverage resources with long term sustainability in education, healthcare, community development, and innovative initiatives.” For more information, visit their website or call (904) 863-8494.

According to Donna Lueders, INK!’s executive director, the nonprofit is fortunate to have local partners and business leaders in the community who strengthen the organization’s mission, programs and services. Lueders added, INK! receives a dollar-for-dollar match from grants through the nonprofit’s membership with the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (Consortium).  Matching dollars are a special allocation through the Florida Legislature. “We thank the Florida legislators who generously agree to help fund our organization,” she said.

INK! provides innovative resources to support academic success for all St. Johns County public schools. The office is located at 1 Christopher St. in St. Augustine. For more information, contact Donna Lueders at 904-547-7120 or email [email protected]. Visit the website at

About the Community First Cares Foundation

The Community First Cares Foundation, founded in 2013 by Community First Credit Union, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) community foundation that grants funds to improve the quality of life in North Florida.  The foundation supports activities to improve financial literacy, enhance the quality of our educational system, upgrade the health and welfare of our community and help underserved citizens. The Community First Cares Foundation makes contributions to non-profit organizations that serve the communities on the First Coast.


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Poverty is a silent epidemic in our schools, and many issues with attendance and academics are directly related to students not having clean clothes, shoes that fit, or the supplies they need to be successful in school. Students want to feel good about themselves when they come to school, and we want to help them have everything they need to learn. We could not have opened our first on-site classroom-sized Giving Closet without this funding and volunteer support.

Jennifer Smith, DCPS teacher and Founder of The Giving Closet Project.

Community First Cares

637 N Lee St. (P.O. Box 2600)
Jacksonville, FL 32232

Phone: (904) 371-8090

Email: [email protected]

Have a Special Project?

The Community First Cares Foundation supports projects that place a special emphasis on activities that improve financial literacy, enhance the quality of our educational system, upgrade the health and welfare of our community and help the underserved citizens improve their quality of life.  We offer funding to help our community partners implement these initiative right here on the First Coast.