SOUTHWEST FLORIDA — Students aren’t the only ones preparing to return to the classroom. Teachers are working on getting their classrooms ready before the first bell rings. A local Facebook group chipped in to give teachers the supplies they need.
Teachers like Lindsay Iliopoulos are preparing their classrooms for the start of a new school year but buying all those supplies can get expensive.
“A lot of the money does come out of my pocket, especially if I wanted to do something a bit more grand,” Iliopoulos said.
A stay-at-home mom’s Facebook group created “Adopt a Teacher” to relieve the financial burden.
“As a teacher, we're always looking for help because it does get expensive,” she said. “You know the things on the wish list are definitely things that I wished for. Things that if I don't have them, it's not a big deal, but if I do have them, they can be a great help. So, when someone purchases those things for my classroom and my students, it can make a big difference in their learning.”
Iliopoulos felt touched by the generosity of complete strangers.
“Knowing that somebody wants to help, even though their child's not in my classroom, they may not know me personally but just to want to help educate and help these students means a whole lot to me,” she said.
Regardless, she says teachers will always find a way to the extra mile for their students.
“Luckily, these days, we have things like the dollar tree that carries things that we can use for our classroom and teachers always find a way to make it for their for their kiddos in their room,” Iliopoulos said.
She says the help from “Adopt a Teacher” will help her do extra activities with her students. The money from the state and school district simply isn’t enough.
“We do get help from the district and from the state, but that money goes quickly as well; things are really expensive, especially when you are buying from school stores,” she said.
No matter what Iliopoulos says, she is giving her kindergarteners what they need.
“I usually don't bat an eye; I spend what I need to spend. To give those incoming kindergarteners what they need to feel comfortable and safe and to learn,” Iliopoulos said.
For Iliopoulos, the donations are the cherry on top.