This morning I had an amazing opportunity. A local nonprofit, Crayons2Calculators, operates a warehouse and invites teachers from Durham public schools to "shop" for free! This weekend, 4 or 5 schools were included on the list. Everything in the warehouse was labeled with "points," and you had 100 to shop with.
When I arrived, 10 minutes before it opened, there was already a line waiting. Now, I've never done Black Friday, and I fortunately didn't deal with a Wedding Dress Blowout Sale when I got married -- so this was a new experience for me. The warehouse was small and crowded, but hey - free stuff! Ain't nobody nowhere who likes free stuff more than teachers.
I got to stock up on many things I've run out of, thank goodness. I swear to you, my kids must eat pencils and cap erasers. I also got dry erase markers, some paper organizers, poster board, watercolor paints (!), binder clips, markers... all for free.
My FAVORITE find, however, was in the "creative corner." This was an area full of fabric scraps, wallpaper samples, carpet remnants, etc. All those items were 20 for 1 point. I'm standing there, looking at the stuff, going "there has to be something I could do with this stuff..." when I had a brilliant idea.
My students use individual white boards every day to start off our math lesson. Up until now, we haven't had any erasers for them. The kids use their hands, sleeves (sorry parents!) or paper towels from the sink. I have been asking parents to send in black socks to use as erasers but have not received a response.
A box of small square carpet samples caught my eye in the warehouse, and I thought, "Hey! The kids could TOTALLY use those little carpet squares to erase with!" 20 for 1 point. Sold.
Anyway, I came away with a bunch of free stuff, which is so greatly appreciated. The staff was so nice and friendly, and it was nice to meet teachers from other schools. It seems like such a little thing - pencils and pens and carpet squares - but to teachers who spend hundreds of their own dollars every year, it's such a huge gesture. Thanks so much to Crayons2Calculators, and to everyone who contributes to classrooms.