Per student funding for public schools in North Carolina continues to drop even though our economy is recovering. Every year teachers are pressured to purchase more and more of the supplies that used to be provided, things like paper towel and copy paper. This is especially problematic for schools in low income neighborhoods. Teachers are spending hundreds of their own money to purchase what the kids need. Fortunately for Forsyth county teachers, the Democratic Women of Forsyth County are trying to fill in the funding gap and provided free supplies to area teachers.
More than 100 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools teachers registered for a school supply giveaway at Bolton Park from the Forsyth County Democratic Women’s Auxiliary.
Teachers were notified of the giveaway as early as June, before the 2016-17 school year ended, said Jennifer Filipowski, the chair of the teacher appreciation picnic for the Auxiliary. Teachers also learned about it through word-of-mouth and signed up with the organization to get free supplies. The Democratic Women’s Auxiliary collected supplies, solicited from friends and received cash donations, Filipowski said. Some of the members used the money to bargain hunt for supplies to stretch the money further, with the organization giving away about $3,000 worth of items in all.
The supplies offered teachers included such mainstays as backpacks, paperclips and electronic devices.
“We asked teachers if they had any special needs to let us know, and thumb drives and headphones were on the list,” Filipowski said.
Nissa Vogel, who teaches fourth grade at Moore Magnet Elementary, came to the event for the first time.
Vogel said she was too late last year, with a friend texting her that all of the supplies had been taken. She made sure to get to the event early this year. Teachers are given 20 tickets to shop for supplies, with higher-dollar items costing more.
She grabbed sticky notes, resealable bags and a memory stick. Vogel said the bags are great for organizing things at activity centers set up in the classroom. The other items will help her with a maker space she’s setting up.
“The maker space lab gives kids the ability to collaborate and think and make,” Vogel said. “As you get more into it, you think of more things you need.”
Vogel said it’s easy to spend money on your students. With two small children of her own, she tries to limit herself to about $200 a year on her classroom.