At Bear Creek Elementary in St. Petersburg, kindergartners are learning about bears on the hunt. “They’re hunting for food,” teacher Lora Atwater tells a small group gathered at a table.
And when it comes to school supplies, students and teachers also know a lot about hunting.
“So, when we send a page home, I have students that come back and say, ‘Mrs. Atwater, I couldn’t do this page because I didn’t have scissors or I didn’t have glue or I don’t even have a pencil,’” explains the veteran teacher.
Just down the hall in a 2nd grade classroom, Brittany Brinson is all about positivity. “I like your story idea and I like your story idea too,” she tells two students gathered around her.
And Brinson is also positive she loves her job. “I love that I get to mold students,” she says.
But teaching does come with a cost. Each year, Brinson spends her own money on school supplies, because parents just can't afford them.
“Sometimes after buying school clothes and registration fees for after-school care and things like that--there's not a lot of money left over for school supplies,” says Brinson.
That’s a problem in most Bay Area schools and that means teachers must spend hundreds of dollars of their own money on supplies.
That’s why 10News is partnering with Sam's Club and Grow Financial to collect school supplies. Just buy some extras and donate at your local Sam’s Club, Grow Financial branches or at the 10News Studios-11450 Gandy Boulevard, St. Petersburg.
In late August, 10News will box up the supplies and deliver more than 400 Teacher's Toolboxes to classrooms serving low-income students.
Binders, crayons, tissues, folders, paper, pens—everything will help. And don’t forget the pencils; Brinson says they go fast. “It’s almost like the children are eating them—but they’re not,” she says with a laugh.
The Teacher’s Toolbox school supply drive runs through August 13th.
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