The 10th Annual Teacher Supply Store Provides $45,000 in School Supplies
Hundreds of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools teachers and staff received $75 vouchers to "shop" at the Public School Foundation's (PSF) Teacher Supply Store on August 23-24. The store, located at the American Legion Hall, is sponsored by the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club and PSF.
The store is stocked with items teachers have identified as necessities in their classrooms, including pencils, paper, staplers, glue, markers, tissues, hand sanitizer and much more. The nearly 600 teachers invited include elementary teachers, social workers, visiting international teachers, and novice teachers. To be fair, teachers and staff are invited on a rotating basis, so middle and high school teachers will be invited in 2017.
"This is an amazing event to be a part of and witness," said Interim Superintendent Jim Causby. "The happiness shown by all of the staff members while they shopped and picked out their items is truly priceless. It's so impressive what the Public School Foundation and the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club - with the help of our community - are able to offer our teachers, saving them money from their own pockets to start off a new school year. I'm glad CHCCS and its staff are able to participate in something that provides so much."
"Teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money each year to be sure that students have what they need in the classroom. We hope that this supply store eases that burden for our teachers and school social workers," said Allison Worthy, co-chair of the planning committee. "Social workers often need to offer backpacks and basic supplies to identified families who cannot afford to purchase items on the school supply lists. Novice teachers have not accumulated any supplies for their classrooms, so we want to support them so they don't have to spend money from their own pockets."
Each year, CHCCS hires approximately 35-45 novice teachers.
According to the NC Department of Public Instruction, in 2007-08, the state allocated just over $83 million for classroom materials, instructional supplies and equipment. During the last school year, the state allocated around $44.3 million. That reduction is reflected in local school district budgets.
"This project is so meaningful to our club members," said East Chapel Hill Rotary chairperson, Pat Phelan. "Our rotary members love the smiles on the teachers' faces when they see the tables stocked with supplies that they can get for free with their vouchers. Our rotary club considers this a favorite among our charity projects. The teachers are so grateful and some teachers are moved to tears. It is a wonderful way to kick off the school year."
Over the past 10 years, more than $275,000 in supplies have been given away to CHCCS teachers at the annual Teacher Store. Funding for the store comes through generous support by the East Chapel Hill Rotary and other area rotary clubs, Staples of Chapel Hill and the Staples Foundation, as well as the Public School Foundation. Over 50 volunteers help work the checkout stations for the shoppers.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Teacher Supply Store, PSF accepted donations of $10 gift cards to various local businesses to offer teachers as door prizes during the event.