Back to school: Durham nonprofit tries to provide teachers with classroom supplies

Posted August 18, 2016 1:46 p.m. EDT
Updated August 18, 2016 6:00 p.m. EDT

— Back-to-school shopping is underway for most as the first day of traditional-calendar school approaches, and a Durham nonprofit is hoping donations from the public can help prevent teachers from having to spend their own money to help supply area classrooms.

A group of Duke University students created Crayons 2 Calculators several years ago as a way to serve teachers of Durham Public Schools. The group allows teachers to pick up supplies for their classrooms for free based on credits they get that correspond to the level of need at their respective school.

Around the first of the year, supplies go quickly at the Holloway Street warehouse.

Crayons 2 Calculators helps supply a wide-ranging list of supplies, from hand sanitizer to dry erase markers.

"We have 11 elementary schools that are more than 85 percent free and reduced (price) lunch, so teachers need support all year," Julie Marshall, who works with Crayons 2 Calculators, said. "They shop with us once a month so they have supplies all year long."

Ahead of the first bell of 2016, the center says it needs highlighters, crayons and glue sticks.

An event called "Fill That Bus" is being held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chick-Fil-A at Renaissance Village in Durham. Donations can be made in the form of supplies or money. Donations can also be made online.

Crayons 2 Calculators distributed more than $250,000 of supplies last school year.