GREENSBORO - Dozens of teachers turned out on this year's opening day of the Teacher Supply Warehouse in Greensboro, which provides Guilford County Schools teachers the opportunity to shop for free school supplies with which to stock their classrooms.
Guilford Education Alliance executive director Winston McGregor said national statistics suggest teachers spend an average of $400 to $800 per year of their own money on classroom items. So, she said teacher supply warehouses provide teachers immensely beneficial assistance in obtaining school supplies for their students.
The Teacher Supply Warehouse has been operating out of its Greengate Drive location for two years. This year, its hours of operation are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Teachers register online, and 50 can shop per day. They can shop once every four months for 25 points worth of items. Some items that are low in demand, like permanent markers or staplers, cost one point each. Other items that are more plentiful, like folders, come in packs of up to 50 for every point.
Guilford County Schools math, civics and music teachers spoke with News 2 Wednesday, and all affirmed if it weren't for the Teacher Supply Warehouse, they would spend hundreds of dollars out of pocket each year for school supplies.
McGregor said though teachers receive only 25 points per trip, she acknowledged some teachers have far more students than others. She said teachers can offer to volunteer at the warehouse in exchange for extra shopping points.
McGregor also said donations are needed year-round, not just during back-to-school months, and businesses can supply office materials, as well, that teachers can use to help them organize educational materials.
All donations are tax-deductible. Donors also can continue donating to the Tools for Schools Campaign, which runs through Aug. 31. People can purchase and drop off school supplies in bins at local Wal-Mart stores, Shiffman's stores, the Volunteer Center and Box Board Products. Those items go directly to the shelves of the Teacher Supply Warehouse.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools teachers can shop at the Educator Warehouse, located behind Diggs-Latham Elementary School. Teachers with a valid ID can shop once every quarter on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the first and third Saturdays of the month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Burlington/Alamance County Schools teachers can shop, for a membership fee, once every nine weeks at the Classroom Closet. That warehouse is located in the Burlington Outlet Village and is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and one Saturday a month.