Alerus Mortgage Partners with in Support of Twin Cities’ First-Year Teachers

                     Company donates $15,000 to help teachers equip their classrooms

Minneapolis, MN – October 5, 2016 – Minnesota-based, national nonprofit announced today Alerus Mortage’s $15,000 donation to the organization’s Twin Cities’ First Year Teacher Fund. The funds are to be disbursed this November to teachers in the Twin Cities who are beginning their careers in the 2016/2017 academic year. To be eligible to receive a portion of the funds, Twin Cities first-year teachers need to register their classroom on by October 15. The money will be distributed equally among those registered by the deadline.

U.S. teachers spend an average of nearly $600 a year out of their own pocket to equip their classroom and provide students with the tools they need to succeed. Teachers new to the profession often spend more, given they are faced with empty classrooms and little or no supply budgets. The average starting salary for a Minnesota teacher is $34,505, yet first-year teachers in St. Paul continue to spend money from their paychecks on supplies.

“Teachers shouldn’t have to begin their careers spending large sums of their own money on classroom supplies, but that’s the reality they’re facing,” said Ann Ness, executive director of “Alerus Mortgage’s support will help alleviate some of the financial burden placed on first-year teachers and ultimately benefit thousands of students.”

“I’m very proud that the donated funds were raised through our Alerus Mortgage employee-giving match program,” said Jan Fitzer, president of Alerus Mortgage. “We know that teachers contribute to healthy communities today and in the future. That’s important to all of us.”

Fifty-one percent of U.S. public school children come from families who cannot afford to provide them with the school supplies they need in the classroom. Teachers are filling the gap to ensure all children have the equal opportunity to learn and succeed. According to a study conducted by, 91 percent of teachers purchase school materials for their students. Nationally this totals more than $1.5 billion each year. launched Twin Cities’ First-Year Teacher Fund in 2014, distributing $200 to each registered teacher.

About (AAC) gives teachers a hand by providing much needed classroom supplies and materials to help their students learn and succeed. As an award-winning 501(c)(3), AAC makes it easy for donors to provide funding and support to K-12 classrooms in public, private and charter schools throughout the U.S. On average, teachers spend $600 of their own money each year to equip their classrooms – 20% of teachers spend more than $1000 annually. Since 1998 has raised over $28 million and benefited more than 2 million students throughout the U.S. AAC holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. For more information, or to adopt a classroom, please visit