It's that time of year again: back-to-school days. Parents and kids are shopping for school supplies, lunch boxes, and backpacks, and little pre-school tots are excited to join their older siblings on that big first day.
But did you know that school teachers regularly set up their classrooms on their own dime?
According to a US Department of Education report posted earlier this year, 94% of teachers spend an average of $479 for school supplies—without reimbursement.
Teachers don't make a lot of money, so this money comes from the heart. According to the latest records from the US Department of Education (2012-2013), the average teacher salary is $56,383.
What can you do to help?
- Grass roots: Contact your local schools to see what they need. City and state-wide charities and businesses are a good place to start.
- Live in Baltimore? The Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap offers free, donated school supplies to teachers, homeschooling parents, youth programs, and daycare providers. Learn more here.
- Nation-wide: Go to DonorsChoose.org, where you can select a teacher's project that inspires you and then donate any amount, from $1 to whatever you can afford. Read a little more here about a South Carolina teacher who benefitted from this great program.