Classrooms nationwide are lacking even the most basic of school supplies. For years on end, teachers have had to reach into their pockets so students have the supplies they need to get through the school year.
94% of public school teachers who participate in reduced lunch programs say they spend their own money on materials like pens, pencils, notebooks, books, paper, and more. This totals about $300-$2,000 a year, according to a New York Post article. If teachers don’t provide, the students will go without the materials they need to succeed. Educators are being “forced to do more with less,” a HuffPost study stated, and our students are being compromised.
We began speaking with local teachers and learned that this lack of necessary school supplies is not just a problem in other parts of the country, but right here. Our goal is simple: give local teachers the opportunity to freely choose the products their students need — striving to ensure that corporate donor’s products get into the hands of those who need them most.
In December of 2017, Compassion Coalition launched Central New York’s very first and only teacher free store called Equipped To Teach. Our Lafayette Street location serves our local teachers who are currently teaching in schools of 70% or higher free or reduced lunch. Teachers leave the store with between $700-$1,000 in free products to pass on to their students. From September to December of 2018, we were able to help 430 teachers across 58 schools, give 15,185 students free school supplies.
Are you a teacher in a school where 70% or more of the students receive free or reduced lunch? We want to work alongside you — register today to schedule an appointment for your school.