Local News

Programs help provide school supplies to teachers, students

Posted July 30, 2009

— Teachers have to rely on the school system to pay for supplies, but when that money runs out, they are left spending their own money.

“When that runs out, we have to go into our own purses to supply what’s needed for the students,” said Renee Timberlake, a teacher at Eastway Elementary in Durham.

With the economy struggling, Timberlake said that's happening more often.

To help combat the problem, non-profit group Crayons 2 Calculators – The Durham Teacher Warehouse Corporation provides free school supplies to Durham Public School teachers.

“They really can’t believe the impact that that makes in their classroom,” said Jenna Boitano, the group’s executive director.

Programs help provide school supplies to teachers, students Groups collect donated school supplies

As the name suggest, the group collects everything from crayons to calculators.

“To some of our youth having that package of pencils or those glue sticks will really make a huge difference to them,” Boitano said.

Teachers spend up to $500 a year out of their own pockets on school supplies, according the Crayons 2 Calculators Web site.

Eastway officials said the school has about $6,000 for supplies. In a school with more than 600 students that averages to less than $10 a child. “That’s not enough,” Timberlake said.

Crayons 2 Calculators frequently runs supply drives in Durham.

Teachers can apply for Crayons 2 Calculators, but Boitano said the group targets schools where there are a large number of children who receive free and reduced-priced lunch.

Wake County Human Services has a program that reaches families more directly. Its program Project School Buddies provides students with backpacks filled with school supplies.

“The demand is actually overwhelming, which is why we’re trying to get as many sponsorships as we can,” said Elaine Mejia, of Wake County Human Services.

To be eligible for Project School Buddies, a child’s guardian must already be receiving financial assistance from Wake County Human Services.

Collection bins for Project School Buddies are located at the office of Wake County Human Services, located at 10 Sunnybrook Road in Raleigh, Triangle Town Center, Cary Towne Center and all Wake County Walgreen’s locations.

Donations are accepted until Aug. 12.

Without these donations, teachers may not be able to get as many supplies and students could suffer, Timberlake said.

“They’ll do without. It’s just really something you don’t want to see,” Timberlake said.


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  • HanginTough Aug 5, 2009

    I only by the bare minumum for my child AND what I send has HER name ALL OVER IT! I send her an individual hand sanitizer and kleenex. I do not send any wish list supplies. 85% of kids that attend Greene County schools get FREE AND REDUCED lunch which means theie "parents" are getting welfare. Why in the world would I send my child to school w materials for the "community/class"? And you can cool believe if I find out it all went in one box I will march right down there and pull it out myself. Nobody looks after me or mine and I am sick of looking out for them and theirs!

  • trvlmom3 Jul 31, 2009

    Devilz : The more I think about it, the more aggravated I get. I SHOULD have labeled EVERYTHING with my child's name.

    It wouldn't matter. Last year I labeled everything I sent with my daughter with a thick perm. black marker ... she came home with other stuff and I saw hers with her name crossed out on someone elses desk,,,I mentioned to her teacher I was not happy about that and the stuff I bought was for her use so this year I just bought the bear minimum .. for example we had to get 3 packs of notebook paper ... which i did but I only sent a handful of paper in her binder

  • shortcake53 Jul 31, 2009

    Devilz, I agree with you completely. When my child DID come home with things, i know they were not the ones I bought. I searched high and low for certain writing tablets specified on "the list", but my child came home with an entirely different tablet, so who knows who got the one I looked so hard for. Thank god I only have to supply for one, my heart goes out to families with several in school.

  • Devilz Advocate Jul 31, 2009

    The supply list sent home with one of my kids actually stated, "Do NOT label any of the material with your child's name as it will be collected and then handed out to the class as necessary." This was listed for the items such as pencils, erasers, paper, notebooks, composition books, etc. There was an additional section of "other needed items" such as kleenex, hand sanitizer, highlighters, hand soap, etc. THEN there was a "wish list".

    The more I think about it, the more aggravated I get. I SHOULD have labeled EVERYTHING with my child's name... Now, apparently, It's mandatory to supply school supplies to the other children (while hoping my own child gets SOME of the items I purchased) as well as supplying the teacher's school supplies as well.

  • shortcake53 Jul 30, 2009

    daMoFo the stuff i buy did not go to just my kid, chances are none of what i sent will be used by my child, it will be doled out to everyone else whose parents didnt provide anything. I also sent Dry Erase markers and other supplies for the teacher only, my child will never use those.

  • jkrmeme Jul 30, 2009

    Members of our church donate paper towels once a month to our local elementary school which helps a lot...even got real nice thank you notes from some of the students at the end of the last school year

  • whatelseisnew Jul 30, 2009

    They really should not do that tax free weekend. Geez they are getting ready to increase taxes by over a billion.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 30, 2009

    I make a very hefty donation each and every year; it is called income taxes and property taxes. Cut my taxes and I will be happy to donate some of that money.

  • daMoFo Jul 30, 2009

    You're buying the stuff for your own kids. When I'm buying materials for my classroom, I'm buying them for someone else's kids. I get no tax break when I buy supplies for my own kids either.

  • shortcake53 Jul 30, 2009

    I just spent a wad of cash for school supplies for my child, and get notes sent home asking for more all the time. And soon there will be a Tax Break Weekend for Back to School items. For students in year round school, this is unfair to their families. I didnt get a tax break on all the stuff i had to go get.