As teachers buy more and more supplies for their classrooms, stores offer helping hand

Posted at 5:47 PM, Jul 16, 2018

Ninety-four percent of teachers purchase classroom supplies with their own money, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The average teacher spends $479 each year picking up things like pencils, paper, crayons and other supplies for students.

This week, Target is offering a discount on classroom supplies for teachers. Educators who register online are eligible for 15 percent off certain school supplies.

Some teachers in Western New York, however, might be able to get their hands on school supplies for free. The Teacher's Desk is a store in Buffalo that hands out free school supplies to teachers in qualifying districts.

"For me, it's critical because if you don't have a pencil you don't have a chance," explained John Mika, the store's director.

In WNY districts where 70 percent of students qualify for free or reduced school lunch, teachers are eligible to receive more than $1,000 each in free classroom supplies. Each year, the organization gives out around $6 million in products, according to Mika.

"It's the most incredible job on the planet I think, because they're training up our future," Mika said. "If we can do anything to give them a smile on a Monday morning, I think that's priceless."

Teachers register with The Teacher's Desk and sign up for a specific day to come "shopping". The store is open to teachers from August to May.

For more information about The Teacher's Desk, like how to sign up if you are a teacher or how to volunteer, click here to visit the website.

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