EVSC Teacher Locker provides educators with free school supplies
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - At the Academy for Innovative Studies on Diamond Avenue, those who stop by will see teachers leaving with bags and smiles.
“It’s very helpful to not have to spend all of my paycheck on supplies,” Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation preschool teacher Cindy Hillenbrand said after shopping for her preschool class.
Each trip to the EVSC Teacher Locker is a chance for educators like Hillenbrand to fill up their baskets for free.
EVSC teachers can get around $200 worth of school supplies for their classrooms.
“With it being preschool they don’t have a supply list,” Hillenbrand said. “So, they don’t bring their markers, so everything has to be supplied.”
Before the Teacher Locker, Hillenbrand reached into her own pocket to pay for supplies, or even turned to friends for help. She is not alone.
“I know a lot of teachers, and me included, have made Amazon wish lists and things, but it also feels good not to have to feel like all of your friends and family don’t have to shove, you know, money into your classrooms,” EVSC fourth grade teacher Heather Dougan said.
Dougan says a resource like the Teacher Locker is invaluable.
“Just a real blessing to the community and to teachers to be able to come here and to shop and get those things,” said Dougan.
Nora Walsh, a founding board member of the Teacher Locker, says she helped the locker transform from an idea to reality.
“All great ideas start with a bunch of people collaborating and talking about how to solve a problem,” Walsh said. “So, It’s kind of a perfect storm of people examining the fact that teachers are spending a lot of money out of their own pockets for their classroom.”
Shopping in the Teacher locker started in July of 2019.
Walsh tells 14 News they have big plans to see the space grow.
“We started with one room, at AIS diamond, and now we have three rooms which is so great, so we’re constantly reorganizing and improving and trying to make it easier for teachers and we’ve also added this free room,” said Walsh.
Next door to the Teachers Locker is the free room, where teachers can grab a box and take unlimited gently used school supplies for their classroom.
EVSC’s Teacher Locker will be at the new teacher orientation on Thursday passing out bags of supplies and information about the locker.
Are you an EVSC teacher looking to sign up for a Teacher Locker shopping appointment? Click here to sign up.
To see the Teacher Locker Wishlist, donate, or sign up to volunteer click here.
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