“FREE” School Supply Store for Teachers?

School funding is an important issue in the education system and there seems to be little effective initiatives in place to increase the money pot. Instead of tackling the challenging larger approach of finding better ways to increase the overall school budget, why not resort to finding an easier way to help funding schools locally?

We’ve all heard of teacher’s spending money out of their own pockets due to school budget cuts. But what if I tell you that this problem can be resolved?


Ohio’s “Dayton Crayons to Classrooms” (DC2C, click to see their website) organization has given teachers from under-funded K-12 schools a FREE resource center for basic school supplies essential for academic success. DC2C is a non-profit organization, ran by community volunteers, which specifically aids students living in poverty. They collect donated school supplies and surplus from individual donors and local businesses.

Check out their 2010 Impact report.

DC2C sounds like a positive step in the aid of supporting teachers and students. What do you think about this type of organization and possibly mimicking their system in our own communities? Is it possible? How can we get it started? Would it be effective?


9 thoughts on ““FREE” School Supply Store for Teachers?

  1. Kelcie, you address an issue that seems really common, of teachers spending their own money to buy supplies for their classroom. This was definitely a common account in my elementary school. We also were supposed to bring supplies for the class, and I’ve heard from friends with kids that the school supply lists keep getting longer and longer, which may or may not be true. This seems like an awesome resource for teachers to have. I know around school time there are often lots of drop boxes for donated school supplies, and during the holidays people tend to donate things like backpacks. I think people tend to forget how essential basic school supplies are to learning, and it’s nice that these teachers have this organization to help them out!

  2. This is such a great idea. We could host a “Schools Supplies for Teachers” Drive at PSU or in the communities around schools to help raise schools supplies or cash for supplies for teachers. I love this creative way to give back!

    • Absolutely. I cannot see why this is not a thing already. I can think of so many people that would love to be able to help school teachers succeed in whatever way they can. I am sure this could be made possible with very little work–it just needs to happen!

      • Liz and Rebecca, getting a drive together for teachers’ sounds like a great idea. It almost surprises me that something like this isn’t already in place. I’ve heard of small drives being put together for special occasions like going back to school and during times of distress. Why wait for special circumstances? Having a permanent place for people to donate school supplies to like Dayton’s Crayons to Classrooms would create a year-round outlet that is much needed especially for low-income neighborhoods. I’ve noticed often times great ideas are brainstormed and the action in making it happen fails to proceed. Does anyone know of any possibilities for something like this to get started?

    • Liz, I LOVE your idea! If you are around next quarter at PSU do you want to plan something, or see if another group on campus is doing something similar? I would love to help with this. There is a church in my community that collects school supplies and makes “back to school survival kits” for kids in need. They put in pencils and colored pencils and highlighters, and paper… all sorts of items, and then include some snacks and stuff. I wonder where that goes to and if there is an organization in the Portland area that does this already? I will look into it, and post back on here after I investigate!

  3. What a nice idea! Since fewer resources are going to poor schools, students of low SES would definitely benefit from having free school supplies. Charity is definitely needed during times when true social justice isn’t being achieved. I agree with Olivia—having basic school supplies is so important for learning! Not only for their actual use in the classroom, but also for students’ sense of worth. I think kids naturally relate how much (or how little) they have at school to how much their teacher values them, how much the school cares about them, and how much he/she is actually worth. I think the only danger of charity is that some people see these programs and think that enough is being done. While supplying free school supplies in the meantime is a noble and wonderful effort, school budgeting still needs to constantly be fought for!

  4. This seems like an awesome program for both students and teachers. It so amazing to find out that this non-profits exist solely to help those in need. It The teachers need basic resources to develop creative activities and the students themselves get to enhance their creativity as well. I think it is really cool that its not just school supplies like paper and pencils but backpacks too. Everything is needed to foster the child overall achievement. I agree with Rocielle that even though we do have charities there still needs to be a fight for school budgeting. If the district can aim to have more resources for classroom creativity the possibilities are endless for our youth.

  5. This is great for Dayton OH. The only teachers that are eligible are from schools where 70 percent of the students are enrolled in the national school lunch program. I think every city could use this type of organization. This organization can be a prime example of how the community can pitch in to help our the educators of our children. After looking at the 3 different boxes that teachers can pick from, there isn’t much in there but i’m sure the extra resource helps out tremendously.

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