Excited about sending your child back to school this fall, but not too thrilled about the price of school supplies? Every year, both parents and teachers share mixed feelings about their budget as a new school year commences. While parents and teachers want the best notebooks, pencils, and backpacks for their little learners, splurging too much on colored pencils and crayons can break the bank for many families. According to a 2019 statistic from the National Center for Education Statistics, ninety-three percent of public school teachers have to dip into their pockets to supply their classroom with the needs of their students, adding up to an average $479 spent per classroom.
Students whose parents cannot afford to purchase them their necessary school supplies each year can suffer negative psychological consequences, such as feelings of inadequacy and lack of motivation. Feeling embarrassed for not having a brand new backpack or the trendiest binders can make showing up to school feel like a daunting task. A 2020 blog post on backpacksusa.com makes the valid point that school supplies help foster a creative classroom, aid in teaching students how to become organized, and allowing students to feel prepared for the day ahead. Additionally, making sure that there are enough supplies to go around reduces in-class disruptions when students often scramble to find a pencil from their fellow classmates. Instead of focusing on feeling not good enough in the classroom, students should have the right to focus on their education. Fortunately, through Educator Warehouse, teachers can ensure that their students receive the tools they need in order to succeed.
To help WSFCS teachers foot the bill for their students’ supplies, the Educator Warehouse allows teachers to shop through thousands of donated and gently used school supplies. The Forsyth Educator Partnership, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Council of PTAs, and WS/FCS joined forces to create the Educator Warehouse facility, located behind Diggs-Latham Elementary School. Local businesses and individuals can donate supplies or money to help support Educator Warehouse and allow teachers to supply their classrooms for a fraction of the cost.
Educator Warehouse is open for teachers on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., and from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on the first and third Saturdays of each month. Teachers are allowed one visit to the warehouse per quarter and must sign up ahead of time online to shop on a specific day for a designated amount. Interested in volunteering at the facility? Volunteers are crucial in keeping the operation running smoothly. Educator Warehouse is grateful for volunteers, regardless of whether they are able to commit to shifts daily, weekly, or monthly. Many volunteers at the warehouse find great joy and satisfaction in relieving teachers of their financial burdens, in addition to knowing that students will have all the supplies necessary to prepare them for a solid school year.
Along with the start of a new school year, a new website and brochure for the facility is underway, in addition to revamped Facebook and Instagram pages. One thing that will remain unchanged, however, is the option for busy teachers to do their shopping online. Additionally, teachers used to the current operating hours of the Educator Warehouse will find solace in the facility’s hours remaining stable throughout the 2021-2022 school year.
Those looking to donate funds or supplies to Educator Warehouse can visit the facility’s webpage at www.wsfcs.k12.nc.us/domain/6689 to find a list of commonly requested supplies, such as writing utensils, craft supplies, and notebook paper, in addition to personal hygiene items like hand sanitizer and Kleenex. Those interested in volunteer can email Karel Chandler at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call for any questions at 336-817-1673. To stay up-to-date on the latest announcements and news from Educator Warehouse, check out the facility’s Facebook page and follow @educatorwarehouse on Instagram.