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Teachers stock up on different sets of supplies for classrooms in 2020

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 10:13 PM CDT
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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) -- When schools closed down in March because of the Coronavirus Amy Cullum thought her teacher supplies store, Apples and More, was going to close for good. But in recent weeks, as teachers get ready to head back to their classrooms, business has been good.

Typically before a new school year, teachers buy classroom decor, stickers, pencils, and other basic needs. But this year Cullum says she’s noticed a change in buying patterns.

“It’s definitely been a challenge for them to know what to purchase,” said Cullum.

She’s noticed that teachers are buying more plastic bins at her store because they’re buying them for each individual student.

“Individual bins are a big one for sure. I’m looking at baskets to hopefully keep their storage contained and in a simple, easy spot for them to get to, and also something that’s plastic so I can wipe it down,” said 5th-grade teacher Natalie Hanson.

Cullum says sit spots - directional cues for students - are flying off the racks, too. Natalie Hanson says she’s already stocked up.

“That’s a great way for me to mark out spots for the kids to naturally know where to go. Because even 5th graders need help knowing where to go when it comes to social distancing because they just want to spend time with their friends,” said Hanson.

Cullum is also selling more social distancing posters and others that encourage good hygiene and handwashing.

“We’re sold out. This one was the ‘spread kindness, not germs.’ I have more coming,” she said.

Apples and More is also selling items it’s never sold before like masks and lanyards. Cullum is even selling special lanyards that allow a mask and school I.D. to be fastened to it.

A former teacher herself, she knows how anxious teachers are to get back to the classroom safely.

“This year it’s even harder. It’s unfamiliar territory on several levels for them,” said Cullum.

And she’s happy to support them in any way she can, including through the Adopt a Teacher initiative.

“If people buy a gift card I add to it so that way it generates more for the teachers because I feel like they deserve it.”