Teachers pay out of pocket for back to school expenses

(WISH Photo/Jessica Hayes)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The organization AdoptAClassroom says, this year, teachers will spend an average of $1,000 of their own money on their classroom.

The organization is trying to ease that burden by partnering with area businesses to turn normal shopping dollars into classroom supplies.

One local teacher who’s part of the program is Rachel Armstrong, a first grade teacher at IPS Washington Irving Elementary School 14.

She said her classroom costs, like office supplies, decorations and technology, come out of her own pocket.

“Typically over $1,000,” she said. “Ninety percent of our school is free and reduced, and so when [students] don’t have what they need basically at home, that trickles down to the school, the teachers to help them get their basic needs.”

Armstrong joined AdoptAClassroom.org which partnered with local businesses, like Great Clips, to get needed supplies to teachers.

“Customers download the Great Clips app onto their phone, and for every new download that we get for the month of August, we will donate $1,” said Katie Riordan with Great Clips.

Then local Great Clips pick local schools from AdoptAClassroom.org and donate either supplies or the money directly.

Another business easing the back to school cost burden is Walmart,where teachers buy supplies at regular price, register the receipt online and Walmart sends them a gift card for 10 percent of that cost.

“Go into the classroom to learn and to make our community stronger, these folks need just the basic tools,” said John Frangello with Walmart.

Armstrong says the help is welcomed and needed, and it all goes back to the kids.

“I didn’t have a pencil sharpener; I didn’t have a tape dispenser,” she said. “They helped me get those basic things and they’ve helped me reach some of the goals that I want too of buying technology, getting technology into the students’ hands.”

Click here for more retailers that give back to teachers.

Click here to learn more about AdoptAClassroom.

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