SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – For some schools in KELOLAND, there is less than a month left of summer break before classes start up again. That means students and teachers alike will be filling up their shopping carts with school supplies soon. With nationwide inflation, the price of those supplies is expected to be higher.

A local non-profit is hoping to ease the cost burden for first-year teachers trying to get their classrooms stocked up for the year.

From decorations and libraries to pens and pencils, many first-year teachers dream about what their first classroom will look like.

For the third year in a row, the Live Like Cat Foundation in Sioux Falls is helping teachers fulfill that dream.

“We give away $300 to 10 winners. We have usually picked more than 10 because it’s so fun to give away money to these new teachers. So, to date, I think we’ve given out about $9,000 in teacher grants,” Barb Olson, Caitlyn’s mom, said.

The Live Like Cat Foundation was started in 2019 in memory of Caitlyn Carman, who was killed in a car crash in 2018. At the time, Carman was studying to become a teacher herself at USD.

“It makes us really happy when we can help others build their classrooms like Caitlyn would’ve wanted,” Kim Weihe, board member of the Foundation, said.

The Foundation also helps teachers through book giveaways and the Caitlyn Carman Education Scholarship at USD.

“We had just felt like her life, her legacy, wasn’t far from over and we just had to get out there and continue the work since she wasn’t able to do it,” Olson said.

Helping the next generation of educators start their journeys.

“If you know someone that is a first-year teacher and needs to build their library or school supplies for their classroom or what not, we encourage them to go and apply for that scholarship,” Weihe said.

The last day to submit applications for the teacher grant is August 14th. Winners will be chosen in a Facebook Live video on the 15th.