Durham teachers get school supplies from donor market
Posted August 12, 2014
Durham, N.C. — Back to school time can be very expensive for both parents and teachers.
A survey shows the average public school teacher in America spent $149 dollars of her own money on school supplies last year. Teachers spend another $138 throughout the year on basics like tissues, wipes and paper towels.
At Crayons2Calculators in Durham, their money is no good. Instead, teachers shop on credits based on the level of need at their school.
A group of Duke University students started the organization about a decade ago to gather donations of school supplies and money to help the city's schools.
Every month, they invite a group of teachers to "shop" their Holloway Street warehouse. Over the course of the year, teachers from all Durham Public Schools get a chance to gear up for free. Teachers get points to "spend" based on the level of free and reduced-price lunch at their school.
Kirtina Jones said the warehouse is a welcome aid as she stocks her second-grade classroom.
"Binders, glue sticks, dry-erase markers are so expensive, but you need them," she said.
"Especially with the money we make, it's tough to do it. This is such a blessing. I'm so thankful."
Jones said when she started her teaching career, more supplies were, well, supplied.
getting ready for the school year is a lot different from when she started 11 years ago.
"You would get this nice box of things to prepare, but now it's not realistic," she said. "You don't get a thing to help get you started."
Jones' school, R.N. Harris, is one of eight that are invited to stock up on $50 to $75 in supplies each month.
"It's like the highlight of the month," she said. "And when you miss your month, it's like missing Christmas!"
A spokeswoman for the Durham school system said Tuesday that much of the schools budget went toward teacher and aid salaries and that any donations from the community are welcome and appreciated.
Crayons2Calculators has collection bins around Durham and will hold a special school supply event Wednesday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chick-Fil-A on Roxboro Road.