Omaha teachers find help for school supplies in Facebook community

Adopt-a-Teacher on Facebook gives an opportunity for teachers to post a wish list and members to donate those items right to their door
More than 15,000 people are coming together to support our local teachers.
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 7:01 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Over 15,000 people are coming together to support local Omaha teachers.

Adopt-a-Teacher on Facebook gives an opportunity for teachers to post a wish list and members to donate those items right to their door.

According to a study surveying over 5,000 teachers across America, teachers spent an average of $750 dollars out of pocket during the school year.

Some teachers like Katie Eden, the creator of the page, shell out even more than that.

“On average, the very first year before I started this…I don’t even wanna say…but probably about $3,000,” said Katie, a 5th-grade teacher.

On top of basic school supplies like notebooks and folders, she buys reward items for her students and snacks to get them through the day. Katie says that these help create a better learning environment.

“They know their expectations. They know there’s something they can look forward to at the end of the week. And so it’s just a win-win for everyone.”

Now, thanks to the page, most of her supplies are from donors.

Gabrielle Pane is a kindergarten teacher that posted her wish list and got free items in return. One day, she opened her front door to a stack of Amazon boxes.

“I just was shocked to see the generosity of other people buying things completely out of their own pockets, and they’ve never met me. They’ve never met my students. It was just so sweet and amazing,” she said.

In a game of show-and-tell, Gabrielle showed off some of the educational materials she can now use for her class.

“This one is a card early education device. And so they take the card, it helps them develop their reading. They put the card in there and it helps them with the word and pronouncing the word.”

Of the 15,500 members in the Facebook group, about 3,000 are teachers. The rest are just people looking to donate.

One grandparent in La Vista has three children in the public school system, she donated to three teachers last year and plans to continue to do so for as long as she can.

“[These children] are going to be the future of America, and I think they need to get a well-rounded education,” said Cindy Keffer.

She said she donated over $400 to one Conestoga teacher last year.

But the teachers say that even just an item or two off their wish list is so appreciated by them and the students.

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