SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield school teachers no longer have to pay for school supplies out of their own pocket.
Retired teachers formed an organization called “Tools for Teaching.” The group secured grants and other gifts to purchase school supplies which would otherwise be paid for by individual teachers.
Two hundred and fifty new Springfield teachers found the teaching tools they’ll need at the Springfield Education Association Office on Wednesday afternoon. One teacher spoke with 22News about how much she spent on school supplies.
Retired Springfield teacher Dawna Jenna told 22News, “When I started teaching, in my first year I spent $776 on extra supplies in my classroom when I wasn’t making a salary… But I needed to do it; my students needed me to do it.”
That was back in the 1970s; the cost would be much greater now, four decades later.
First-time teachers told 22News that they welcomed the opportunity to stock up on necessary school supplies, without having to worry about the cost.
“It’s really unbelievable because so many times we have to buy our own things,” Otis Rogers said. “So to have these supplies at the beginning of the year is priceless.”
Jen told 22News that stores are lending a helping hand by giving back to teachers in need.
“There’s a store available for teachers but we don’t have to purchase anything, just handed down to give us an opportunity to build our classrooms on a budget, it’s incredible,” said Jen.
That tools for teaching store at the city’s municipal operations center on Tapley Street will be open on Thursday from 3 pm to 5:30 p.m. for Springfield’s more than 2,000 teachers to stock up on supplies.
The school year in Springfield starts on August 26.