Teachers are busy long before students return from summer break, setting up classrooms and spending their own money to shop for pencils, paper and other supplies.
On average, teachers spend about $500 of their own money on school supplies each year, according to the North Carolina governor’s office.
Here are four ways you can help teachers and students as summer break winds down and kids head back to school:
Pick a project to support
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More and more teachers are using internet sites such as donorschoose.org to raise money for supplies and special projects.
A teacher at Cary Elementary School is raising money for rocking chairs, stools and seat cushions to offer students alternatives to sitting at desks all day.
“No student learns in exactly the same way, and all students do not learn easily when they sit in a chair at their desk,” the teacher wrote on donorschoose.org. I want to add to the flexible seating choices in my classroom, as I have noticed that students love the choices that I currently have and are doing a great job learning while in different places in the classroom.”
A first-year teacher at River Bend Elementary School in Raleigh is raising money for books that will help students “become tolerant citizens.” The list of books includes the “Learning to Get Along” series.
“In particular, teaching my students to be tolerant of everyone is extremely important to me,” the teacher wrote on donorschoose.org. “I would like to have books available for my students to read that teach them how to be a better, more tolerant citizen.”
See all the Wake County projects at http://bit.ly/2vKqXyN.
Durham County projects: http://bit.ly/2wo3mVo
Johnston County projects: http://bit.ly/2uXOZ6B
Orange County projects: http://bit.ly/2xbmbZ0
‘Adopt’ a classroom
You can help teachers cover expenses by donating on adoptaclassroom.org.
Several classrooms at local schools are listed on the site, and you can search by a school’s name or location.
“Our school’s vision is to end generational poverty,” Victoria Lightfoot, a teacher at Bugg Elementary School in Raleigh, wrote on the site. “Your donation will help meet the instructional and educational goals of these students.”
Michael Ronco, a teacher at Leesville Road Middle School, wrote that his students need tissues, hand sanitizer, pencils, pens, binders, paper and makers.
“Some of our students come from lower income families, single parent families, are covered under the homeless act, and cannot purchase the material needed for learning and participation,” he wrote. “My class sizes range from 36 to 28, and many students just don’t have what they need.”
You can drop off school supplies to State Employees’ Credit Union branches, state government offices and businesses across the state that are participating in Gov. Roy Cooper’s drive.
The effort began Aug. 14 and runs until Sept. 8
Supplies needed include all types of paper; pens, pencils and dry erase markers; spiral notebooks; and tissues and sanitizing wipes.
Businesses and workplaces can start their own school-supply drive through the state program. A toolkit to get started can be found online at http://bit.ly/2vCjvql.
Ask schools what they need
Wake County schools accept in-kind gifts. Since needs vary based on the school, it’s best to call and ask what would be most helpful.
While things like calculators and printer paper surely come in handy, Wake also accepts less-obvious donations: computer hardware, chemicals, playground equipment and vehicles.