As the school year is soon to begin, and already in session for some districts, many teachers are digging in to their own wallets to purchase supplies for their classrooms.
Heather Newberry, a teacher of 15 years, makes her 3rd grade class a welcoming place for her students at Frye Elementary in Chandler.
A lot of thought--and money--goes into it.
"As teachers, we do really want to set the stage to engage the children, and sometimes that calls for some extra purchases from our own pocket,” Newberry said.
That's because there isn't money in the budget for things considered extra--like nice paper for bulletin boards or supplies for projects. Sometimes, even basic items.
"A lot has gone in to it buying supplies for the classroom,” said first-year teacher Lauren Mosher, who teaches the 5th grade at Frye Elementary. “Not only for myself, but for my students as well, including crayons, markers, paper, scissors.”
Teachers like Newberry and Mosher are spending their own cash for classroom supplies.
"Hundreds,” Newberry said.
"Out of my own pocket, I probably spent close to $800," Mosher said.
Just today, Mosher brought in her own supplies for an educational project.
"We did a STEM activity that included marshmallows and spaghetti…to build the tallest tower, and that links to not only math, but science as well," Mosher said.
So occasionally, teachers turn to "wish lists" for supplies needed in the classroom. Other times, they send a list home of required or optional supplies for parents to help.
If you'd like to take action and help, contact your local school to ask them what they need and how you can help.