This article was originally published on Medium by Olivia Haveron.
Throughout an average school year, teachers will spend at least $459 out of pocket for school supplies for their students. As schools around the country begin to reopen, or rethink opening plans, during the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is unknown how much teachers, who receive little funding and are rarely reimbursed, will have to spend on not only masks but safety materials as well.
Especially since President Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos are demanding that schools reopen, the mystery of how schools will protect and guarantee the safety of their teachers remains a mystery. It is imperative, more than ever, that we support and donate to teachers as they are going back to school and teaching remotely in the Fall.
One such charity that is supporting teachers and students is Donors Choose, an organization that raises money to help classrooms in need so that students no matter the community can have a great education. Their coronavirus relief began in March and they are determined to support teachers and students more than ever. Through a survey of 4,000 teachers, 97% said that the pandemic would negatively impact their students’ learning, while 68% of students also lack the sufficient resources to learn from home. Donors Choose has created Distance Learning Projects so that teachers can shop for school supplies, food, and hygiene for their students. In addition, teachers can create their own fundraisers so that they can help pay for supplies without having to reach out of their pockets.
The Fund for Public Schools has created a COVID-19 Response Effort fund which people can donate to. In order to guarantee that over 1.1 million students have a close-to-exceptional school year, it is important that schools have the funds to ensure a safe and welcoming environment.
As the school year is quickly approaching, the need for money such as this becomes all the more necessary. By donating to the NYC School COVID-19 Response Effort, innovations and rapid solutions to this unprecedented event will be put in place to help schools directly. Some of the innovations put in place include “ensuring high quality teaching and learning, especially for vulnerable populations” (this includes providing access to technology and resources required for blended learning), ensuring all students in need can receive free meals, “supporting the most vulnerable populations by providing additional support,” and “providing college and career readiness”
On the West Coast, Four Peaks Brewing Co., Arizona’s largest brewery, launched Four Peaks for Teachers, an annual fundraiser to support teachers by providing them free kits of school supplies. In addition to donations, funds raised through beer sales will buy supplies like scissors, pencils, paper, and everything else students and teachers need for a successful teaching experience. This year, teachers are able to pick up supplies at about 20 locations within Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. Despite not being directly correlated with COVID-19, Four Peaks for Teachers allows for teachers to get the supplies they need when some school districts provide them little to nothing.
There are countless more charities and foundations directly related to providing teachers with the resources they need to teach during the pandemic at a local and state level. During these hard times, it reminds us how important our teachers are as they put their lives on the line to educate and inform the younger generations. Donating is imperative not only now, but even when the world is back to ‘normal.’ It is imperative to support our teachers because if we don’t support them, we can’t support our future generations to come.