The Elkhart Education Foundation opened its schoolhouse supply store Monday. It's full of school supplies and hygeine items that teachers and school staff can take for students.
It’s no secret that most teachers spend a good chunk of their own money on supplies for their classrooms every school year.
Kristin Baker teaches speech and theatre at Central High School. She says besides saving teachers money, the shop shows them the community cares. “The more love we feel from the community, the more we’re able to poor out. And having to stress out about supplies, it’s kind of the opposite of feeling loved. So this is like a love note from the community to us.”
For organizer Stephanie Coleman, the store is a labor of love. “My mom didn’t always have the money to give me supplies and I had a teacher who would say ‘come on Stephanie, I’ll give you what you need, pick out that ruler,’" Coleman recalled. "I had no idea that a lot of times she was probably paying for those items out of her own pocket.”
Supplies in the store came mainly from donations. To keep the store stocked the community can donate supplies in boxes at businesses around town.
The store will be open to faculty and staff of Elkhart Schools twice a week. Educators can also request specific items and have them delivered to their classrooms.