ALPHARETTA, Ga. – According to a recent survey by the Education Market Association, teachers spend an average of $500 of their own money annually on supplies for their classroom. That staggering statistic amounts to teachers pulling nearly $1.6 million out of their own pockets each year to create a successful learning space for their students.

As administrations look to balance budgets and teachers flex their creative muscle to keep students engaged, they turn to supplies that create significant impact.

Color is one of the most powerful tools for teachers,” said Neenah Consumer Brand Manager Jeremy Frank. “Learning is accelerated by 55 to 78 percent and comprehension goes up by nearly 75 percent just by adding color to the learning process.”

Astrobrights® Papers, a brand of Neenah, addressed the ongoing need for one of their largest customer segments by launching Colorize™ Your Classroom. The campaign created a forum for teachers to share ideas for constructing an impactful classroom with limited supplies, focusing on color paper as the difference maker. From July through September, teachers shared photos of their classrooms and lesson plans that leveraged color as a learning tool.

The result was a collection of inspiration for teachers as they set up their classrooms for the new school year. More than 500 ideas were shared, tackling solutions from classroom décor, lesson plans and more.

In addition to sparking the conversation on color, Astrobrights awarded one teacher in every state with a supply of Astrobrights to help stock their supply closet. A grand prize winner, Reagan Tunstall from Garden Ridge Elementary in Garden Ridge, Texas, received a yearlong sponsorship so she can continue to colorize her classroom. She will also have access to the team at Astrobrights to help with her learning and color needs through class meetings, showcasing projects, creativity sessions and more.

“The creativity of these teachers illustrated the power of color in the classroom,” said Jeremy Frank.  “They are filling the supply gap and color paper is becoming their go-to source.”

For inspiration on how to colorize your classroom or to view the creative ways teachers are leveraging color, visit the Astrobrights Facebook page, www.facebook.com/astrobrights.

About Neenah Paper, Inc.

Neenah is a leader in premium image and performance-based products, including filtration, specialized substrates used for tapes, labels and other products, and high-end printing papers. Products are marketed under well-known brands such as CLASSIC®, ASTROBRIGHTS®, ENVIRONMENT®, CRANE®, ROYAL SUNDANCE®, SOUTHWORTH®, KIMDURA®, Gessner®, CRANEMAT™, CRANEGLAS™, JET-PRO®, SofStretch™ and Varitess®. Neenah is headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, and its products are sold in over 70 countries worldwide from manufacturing operations in the United States and Germany. Additional information can be found at the company's web site, www.neenah.com.