A teacher’s heart for their students overflows with love. The desire to make educational tools accessible to all of their students has them continually reaching into their own pocketbook. Underpaid, often underappreciated, and a lack of resources would cause others to leave their job. Teachers are creative and steadfast in their endeavor to educate children. ScrapsKC’s education pillar of our mission supports our local teachers with free and inexpensive school supplies.
At the end of every school year, hundreds of thousands of pounds of gently used and unused school supplies throughout Kansas City find their way into the landfill. Classroom teachers dig through school trash cans to recover supplies their students irreverently deemed unnecessary for further use. Over the last four years, ScrapsKC has partnered with area schools to collect these unwanted supplies before they reach the trash can. Community members and homeless have come together to clean and repurpose over 30,000 pounds of school supplies during the last four years.
Over 700 teachers serving tens of thousands of students have received these supplies for free. Teachers have cried. First year teachers who hadn’t received a paycheck were overjoyed with free supplies. Friends bring friends. And some teachers drive two hours for free supplies.
Each year we hear new stories of the impact the repurposed supplies make on children struggling to learn:
- children whose parents can’t pay the electric bill let alone buy them a pencil for school;
- children whose parents work as Itinerant farm workers picking the fruits and vegetables that grace our tables but barely earning enough for their own basic subsistence; and
- children who couch surf every night because their parent is abusive or addicted and can’t care for them.
Who will furnish them school supplies? Teachers will.
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” Malala Yousafzai