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New program rewards teachers with cash incentives

Teachers can get a stipend up to $2,400 a year

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GILES COUNTY, Va. – Some local teachers will get rewarded with cash, thanks to a new program. 

The program is known as GIFTS, which stands for Giles Incentives for Teachers. It gives bonuses to early educators for attaining professional credentials. 

On Thursday, three teachers at Kids & Co. and six teachers at Imagination Station in Pearisburg will receive their stipends, which recur every six months. The twice-yearly awards range from $500 for teachers achieving a CDA, $900 for teachers with an AA, to $1,200 for teachers with a BA. 

Funding for the program came from an anonymous donor associated with the Giles Early Education Project. 

This pilot project is a model that could be used statewide, as several states have similar incentive or tax credit systems. 

Pulaski is currently fundraising for a similar program called PERC, which is short for Pulaski Early Educator Rewards for Credentials. Early educators there typically make $8 to $10.50 per hour without benefits. To help supplement those salaries, PERC will also provide twice-yearly financial rewards once it is funded.