Viral ‘Clear The Lists’ campaign helping Midlands teachers

Viral 'Clear The Lists' campaign helps Midlands teachers

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A viral social media campaign to help teachers around the country buy school supplies for their classrooms has made its way to the Midlands.

Several social media groups, all revolving around the same concept, formed over the summer allowing teachers to post “wish lists” to sites like Amazon. In doing so, donors are able to purchase items on the list, helping teachers secure what they need for the upcoming school year. Statewide Facebook groups have been created to help teachers connect with potential donors.

Lauren Snipes is a first grade teacher at Sandy Run School in Calhoun County. This year is her second year of creating a wish list, but for the first time, she made it on Amazon.

“I made a wish list of book titles I thought my students would enjoy this year and within two weeks of posting the list, it had been completed,” Snipes said. “Plus, people bought writing games, reading games, even a bookshelf to hold some of the books purchased for me.”

Snipes became a new mother this year and said money is especially tight. During any given school year, she said teachers in early childhood education can spend $500 to $600 on supplies for the classroom. With community members and fellow teachers pitching in, it’ll help take some stress off of finances.

“It is a good thing working in a small community because these parents know us well outside of school and they know the importance of needing things like new books and new school supplies for students who aren’t as fortunate to afford things like that,” she said.

Snipes isn’t the only teacher in the school to create a wish list. She said as people become more aware of the demands placed on teachers and what their salary allows, they’ll be able to appreciate how much teachers pay out of pocket during the school year.

“If children are coming to school excited about materials we have that’s going to make the meant to try harder and do their best in the classroom so, in turn, they’re going to go back out to the community and be a contributing member of society the best they can,” she said. “That’s what we want.”

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