COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Some Midlands teachers are already back in the classroom getting things prepared before students return. Now, some people outside of the classroom are asking teachers what supplies they need as we prepare for a school year in the midst of a pandemic.
WIS-TV has come across a couple of efforts to make sure teachers and students have what they need this fall. Many have fallen upon hard times, financially, because of the pandemic and may not have the means to stock up on back-to-school needs.
Some groups are asking teachers to create a wish list so that they know exactly what to get based on the real needs of local educators.
This includes The Edge of Broad Street, a boutique in Camden where organizers say they just want to bring some positive vibes to the Kershaw County community with everything going on.
There’s also a second year University of South Carolina law student, Brittany Roberts, who had a similar idea and she’s looking to support teachers in Richland County.
Both efforts are allowing teachers to submit a wish list and are then relying on community members to help donate the items needed.
“I think that we as a society just really gained a better appreciation for our educators and so with us preparing to go back to school, I think that we do have a really good opportunity to support those teachers and school staff,” said Roberts.
LeeAnn Torres is a middle school teacher with the Kershaw County School District.
She said, “I’m hearing from a lot of my colleagues that what we need most of is basics,” adding that the number one item on the list is pencils.
Torres laughed saying, “You would not believe how many pencils we go through in year, but we need: pencils, we need pencil sharpeners, highlighters dry erase markers.”
School preps this year will likely look different than in years past. To accommodate new safety measures in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many teachers are having to prepare both a digital classroom and an in-person classroom. Plus, it’s not just school supplies they’re needing but for the first time teachers are having to add cleaning supplies and face coverings to their list of needs.
Even when it comes to just basic school supplies, Torres said teachers will need more than usual this school year because, “We all share supplies, but particularly elementary students are using these supplies daily and they can’t share them anymore. To try to sanitize between uses would be absolute chaos and just not worth the risks. So, these students need individual supplies.”
Other school supplies Torres says will be crucial this school year include:
- Pencil sharpeners
- Erasable Markers
- Book Bins/Magazine Holders
- Notebook Paper
- Non-toxic liquid glue sticks
- Safety scissors
- Facial Tissue
- Sanitizing Wipes
- Hand Sanitizers
- Face masks
Roberts has created a Facebook page where teachers can make their requests called Richland County - Adopt a Teacher.
“The goal is to have all of our teachers in the area join this group and be able to post on there a link to their wish list or the specific list that they might need and ways to get it to them,” said Roberts.
The Edge has already put together several bags and backpacks for students and teachers.
The Camden boutique will continue accepting locations at this address: 938 Broad Street, Camden, SC 29020
You can also call and speak with Jessica Thomas at (803) 713-7302 for more information.