Jessamine County School Superintendent Lu Young said the system is lucky to have the foundation, one of only six in Kentucky.
"These grants allow the teachers to use innovative ideas, things that they would really like to do with their kids, field experiences, things in world languages and lots of things like that, they wouldn't otherwise be able to provide," Young said. "This is all private donations so there are no restrictions on it like there is on public dollars."
The $500 maximum grants are matching grants which means the teachers must find the same amount of money from some other source before the foundation will match it.
"If the teacher can get half from somewhere else, usually through the PTO, or something like that, we fund the other half," Jourdan said. "We don't want to supplant what the school system does, we just want to augment that and help the teachers fund things they wouldn't be able to otherwise."
The organization's major fundraiser is usually a dinner auction.
This year's Jukebox Saturday Night event was held at the R.J. Corman Hanger with about 160 people attending.
The 1960s style dinner dance and auction provided good food, good music and raised money for kids, Jourdan said.
The event raised over $14,000 from live and silent auctions on a P.T. Cruiser, a Rich Brooks autographed football, a Billy Gillispie autographed basketball and other items.
Jourdan said all the money raised by the organization goes back to the students, with none going for administrative costs.
JCEF plans to fund $8,000 worth of grants this year with the another $5,000 going in an endowment fund to be used later.
The grants are open to teachers at any level, but Jourdan said they are not limited to the public system, as they have previously funded grants for the Jessamine County Adult Education and All Gods Children also.
Jourdan said as chairman, he only presides over board meetings, it s Co-Executive Directors Pat Nielsen and Anna Wilson who run the organization, keeping records and taking care of the funds.
The next major fundraiser for the organization will be in 2009.