A Chicago-based nonprofit is giving 15 teachers throughout the state of Illinois a chance to receive free school supplies for their classrooms.

Back 2 School Illinois launched its “We Appreciate Teachers” statewide initiative Saturday to celebrate and support educators, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone is welcome to submit a contest application on behalf of a teacher currently employed by a school in Illinois, and teachers can even nominate themselves.

Complete and submit an online application here or print out out a hard copy here and mail it to:

We Appreciate Teachers Contest

Back 2 School Illinois

1946 W. Irving Park Road

Chicago, IL 60613

All applications must be completed no later than Friday, April 1, 2022, and include a 250 to 500-word essay explaining how the nominated teacher goes above and beyond to positively impact their students’ lives.

Winning teachers will be notified by Monday, April 11.

Each teacher will receive 30 Back 2 School Illinois kits full of vital school supplies for their entire classroom of students.

Teachers will also receive gift baskets and be treated to a luxurious evening of champagne and hors d’oeuvres at a Chicago reception on Monday, May 2.

“During these challenging times, teachers have had to work even harder to make sure their students stay connected and are learning,” says Matthew Kurtzman, CEO for Back 2 School Illinois. “With our campaign, we are celebrating the creativity, resourcefulness and going above and beyond that teachers have had to do to provide Illinois school children with an education during COVID-19.”

Every year, Back 2 School provides tens of thousands of deserving kids from low-income families with free school supplies to help them succeed in the classroom and lessen the financial burden felt by their families.

Learn more about the organization and its upcoming events here.