KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — It is an exciting time for many families as a new school year gets underway. But even before then, teachers work to get their classrooms ready to welcome students back.
What some people may not realize is that often teachers pay for the bulk of their classroom supplies out of pocket. But teachers are making it work even with the price of everything going up.
Over the summer, Flinn Elementary kindergarten teachers Emily Brammer and Hayley Wiseman asked the community to help make back to school a little easier and people delivered.
Their school and many others throughout our region have Adopt-a-Teacher programs. Teachers make a classroom wish list and people donate the items.
“We don’t ask students to bring anything other than a backpack, a water bottle and a lunch box,” Brammer said. “So, anything like crayons, markers, paper, pencils, we supply everything to them for the school year.”
In Kanawha County, teachers get a small budget from their school district to buy items for their classrooms.
But it isn’t unusual for them to also reach into their own pocket to purchase the things they want to provide for students. Support from people in the community helps with that, especially this year.
“The price of things have definitely you know went up this year,” Wiseman said. “Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that our money allotment will go up through the county.”
Teachers say the donations help level the playing field for students.
“All of the kids have the same supplies and that way no one is worrying about who has what kind of crayons, everyone is uniform,” Brammer said. “That helps us too when we are teaching because we know what they have and that they are prepared to do what we had planned for them for the day.”
The Adopt-a-Teacher Program also helps them get things that go beyond the basics like crayon boxes and items for play and enrichment.
“A lot of the money I get through the county goes to things like paper because I can get those things through the warehouse, like a box of copy paper or construction paper things like that,” Brammer explained.
By providing markers, pencils and all of the typical back-to-school shopping items for their students they are hoping to give parents, especially those with multiple children, a chance to breathe a little easier. That way some extra money might be available for them to spend on other back-to-school needs.
“It helps the parents tremendously because there’s also those other clothing and shoes, types of things that they have to buy for their child,” Wiseman said. “It helps and it also helps us to make sure that every student has what they need that first day of school.”
With the added costs in the checkout line teachers say it takes a village to make sure everyone has what they need to thrive.
“Things have definitely gone up and I think that parents are also struggling,” Brammer said. “The parents can have a sigh of relief because they don’t have to provide these things because they are provided for them.”
Right now, all of the teachers at Flinn Elementary who needed a sponsor for their classroom are covered. However, many other area schools still have teachers who need help.
If you’d like to help teachers in your community, you can call your local school.