Few areas in Oklahoma support education like Pottawatomie County and Shawnee specifically.

In 2016, the county voted to collect a half cent sales tax to help local schools pay for items that state funding wouldn't cover.

But the support for local schools doesn't stop there. Shawnee Forward began a program this year that involves supporters directly with classrooms. Most participants will spend between $300 and $500 with the classroom they support. 

The difference in this program and other fundraisers is that businesses and individuals see the impact they have first hand.

The mission of the Classroom Partners program - an offshoot of the Adopt A Class program that had been used in the past - is to provide classroom materials and supplies to give students a better opportunity to succeed. 

It is no secret that many teachers have used their own money to make sure students have what they need when official school funds ran out. 

Meg Vorndran is one of the co-chairs helping to bring partners in touch with their classrooms. She said more than 100 partners have already been matched with classrooms and they are hoping to find about 30 more for classes across Shawnee and Pleasant Grove schools. 

"There are so many needs in the schools,"Vordran said. "We as a community need to be aware." 

It isn't only businesses and individuals in the community who have gotten involved. School administrators are also partnering with classrooms.

Susan Field has been the Principal of Horace Mann Elementary School for 11 years. She and her husband Jesse have made a life in education. Mrs. Field said she was a fourth grade teacher before becoming a principal so she has a soft spot for students that age. Because of that, she sponsors Terri Mastin's reading classes.

"I am really excited about this program," Field said. "It really gets the community involved in the school system."

Field said she and her husband signed up because she has seen times when the curriculum changes but funds aren't always there to help teachers provide everything the new programs intend.

That happened in her school last year.

"We got a new reading curriculum last year," Mastin said. "We needed some hands-on props to help students learn, especially with some of the science books we are using."

One of those new books is about the human skeletal system. But Mastin didn't have a skeleton in her classroom. That's where the Classroom Partners program came in.

The Fields provided that learning tool to make the work in the books more effective. Mrs. Field said later in the year they will be providing volcano kits so the students can have that experience to go along with their studies, as well.

"Our community really rallies around schools and education," Mastin said. "Shawnee people and businesses providing things like this for classrooms means the teachers here don't have to purchase those items themselves. That means a lot to us."

If you or your business want to fill one of the remaining spots in this program, you may contact Meg Vorndran at mmvorndran@outlook.com or Will Rosebure at wrosebure@gmail.com.