Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Record number of teachers seeks classroom supplies

Supt. Karl Springer and
1st yr. teacher Christine Toy
OKLAHOMA CITY – As Oklahoma City teachers prepare for the first day of classes after the summer break many stopped by the Teachers Warehouse to pick up the free school supplies that they had ordered. 
I spent time this afternoon with Oklahoma City Public Schools Supt. Karl Springer helping teachers load donated supplies. The free supplies were provided by The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools
This private-public partnership to put school supplies in Oklahoma City classrooms is reaching more schools than ever – and the school year hasn’t even begun.
Teachers Warehouse, a program of The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools underwritten by Chesapeake Energy Corp., Devon Energy and OG&E, is distributing supplies to elementary school teachers today and Thursday. Middle school and high school teachers will receive their supplies next week. In total, schools will receive nearly $25,000 worth of copy paper, spiral notebooks, highlighters, pencils, crayons and other classroom tools and necessities by the end of next week.
The warehouse received orders from 569 teachers at 80 schools – both record numbers for a program that launched only three years ago. Those teachers serve an estimated 12,000 students who stand to benefit from the supplies.
Michele Albanys, a teacher a Capitol Hill Elementary, particularly appreciates the Foundation offers supplies year-round. “When I show up with the blue bags of supplies, the children know to help. They like to help unload them and take the supplies to where they belong.”
The increase in orders reflects The Foundation’s goal to reach more students with free supplies, further bridging the gap between what schools have and what students and teachers need to be successful. Since its inception in 2008, the program has provided more than $600,000 in supplies to teachers. This school year, the Foundation’s goal is to provide free supplies to as many as 800 teachers per month.
“We began this partnership even before the economy made it more difficult for schools and families to make sure teachers and students have what they need,” said Lori Dickinson, executive director of The Foundation. “The need is even greater now.”
Gently-used and new supplies are donated by businesses and individuals throughout the school year. The list of supplies that teacher may request from the Foundation include: 
  • Single-Subject Spiral Notebooks
    (wide ruled and college ruled)
  • White Loose Leaf Notebook Pape
    (wide ruled and college ruled)
  • #2 pencils (regular or mechanical)
  • Student scissors (pointed, Fiskers)
  • Glue Sticks/Glue Bottles
  • Post It Notes
  • Highlighters
  • Ballpoint Pens (blue, black & red ink)
  • Crayon Packs
  • Colored Pencils
  • Markers
  • EXPO Dry Erase Markers
  • Vis a Vis Overhead Projection Pens
  • 3 x 5 index cards (blank and lined)
  • Binder Clips—all sizes
  • Reams of 8 ½ x 11 white copy paper
  • Reams of 8 ½ x 11 colored copy paper
  • Paper folders with 2 pockets and brads
  • 8 ½ x 11 file folders
  • Standard/Metric Rulers
  • 1” 3-ring binders (hard cover)
  • Washable Markers
  • Backpacks without wheels
  • Paper Clips
  • Regular staple refills
  • Tape dispenser refills
  • Divider tabs (5 tabs and 8 tabs)
  • Flash Drive (128 MB or more)
  • Electric Staplers
  • Heavy-duty Staplers (to staple large packets)
  • Three-hole Punches
  • Pencil Sharpeners—regular and electric
  • Backpacks
  • Pencil bags/boxes
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Thesaurus
  • English Dictionary & English-Spanish Translation Dictionary
  • Multi-Colored Construction Paper packages
  • Art Supplies (paint brushes, water colors, modeling clay)
  • Miscellaneous craft supplies (pipe cleaners, beads, ribbon)
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