SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Students aren’t the only people counting down the days until the start of a new school year.

Hundreds of teachers in the Sioux Falls School District started orientation and training Monday at Jefferson High School, and those brand new to the profession received something extra.

“We at the Education Foundation are here to surprise 80 first-time, first-year teachers with $200 grants,” Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation Executive Director Allison Struck said.

Education Foundation Executive Director Allison Struck says the dollars are theirs to use as they see fit.

“Teachers are using those grant dollars to buy bulletins, posters, classroom sets of books, organization kits, puzzles, games, math manipulatives, anything that’s going to help their students in the classroom,” Struck said.

“More posters in my room, maybe some fun seating arrangements, also like some hands on activities and games for my kids,” Jane Addams Elementary teacher Mollie Kelly said.

Mollie Kelly is a first-time teacher at the Elementary Immersion Center at Jane Addams. She’s approaching the year with a nervous excitement.

“I heard a good quote today, I heard that if you’re nervous that’s a good thing, it means you care, so that made me feel a little bit better (laugh),” Kelly said.

The grant will help these first time teachers start their career off on the right foot.

“I have some family friends who are teachers and just all good news, all good words,” Kelly said.

“There’s a national study that shows teachers spend about $500 out of pocket every year purchasing supplies for their classroom, so this is a small way for us to show them that we see them, we appreciate them, and especially that we value them choosing to teach here in the Sioux Falls School District,” Struck said.

The first day of school in the Sioux Falls School District is Thursday, August 24th.