Last year, the average teacher spent about $500 out of his or her own pocket for classroom supplies, according to the Education Market Association. One in 10 spent $1,000 or more.
All told, that’s about $1.6 billion in supplies that parents and school districts nationwide expect teachers to pay for.
Treasures 4 Teachers in Tempe is trying to help reduce that cost.
With a warehouse full of donated materials, Treasures 4 Teachers offers educators low-cost and free books, art supplies, office supplies and pretty much everything you can think of.
Barbara Blalock, the founder and executive director, came up with the idea when she visited a second-grade classroom in 2004.
According to the Treasures’ website, the teacher asked her students to get out a piece of paper and pencil. A young girl went up to the teacher and gave up her shoe, for which the teacher gave her a pencil.
Blalock found out the teacher didn’t have enough pencils, so she made students give up a shoe to borrow one, knowing that they wouldn’t leave with the pencil and without their shoe.
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