HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Free2Teach is a non-profit that helps public school teachers in Madison County keep their classrooms stocked with supplies.
This week, it received its largest donation ever of $75,000 from the Madison County Commission.
She said she had talked with the commission about a donation, but was blown away by the final amount. Free2Teach Executive Director Alison Kling said, “I was shocked, it was like Christmas for us.”
“It means we can expand some of our inventory, we can work on finding state-of-the-art STEM supplies, art supplies, Pre-K supplies, to meet the needs,” Kling said.
Free2Teach gives teachers free rein during their designated shopping time. They can choose from all kinds of supplies like crayons and colored pencils, STEM materials, books, curriculum materials and even classroom holiday decorations.
Kling said the $75,000 donation will be helpful, as the rising cost of items is seeping into what they’re able to purchase.
“We are facing those supply price increases,” Kling said. She said certain items now cost a dollar more than they used to, per item.
She said Free2Teach is happy to offer so many materials to teachers, so they can make a difference in the classroom
“Anyone who is working with a child full time these supplies,” Kling said. “We really love that that [the supplies] gets to the child in a way that makes the child feel secure and loved.”
Teachers are able to register for a specified shopping time. Those shopping times are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Kling said they typically have 15 to 25 teachers signed up for each shopping time. However, this week, 54 teachers were registered.
Fourth Grade teacher Joel Farbman said this was not his first time utilizing what the store has to offer.
“I know it’s sort of sad to be excited about pens and paper, and pencils and neat things for the classroom,” he said. “But, it really is amazing, it’s like a holiday for teachers every time we come in here” he added.
Jordan Perry is a Pre-K teacher. She’s been in the classroom for several years, and said it is a great resource for everyone, but especially for new teachers.
“I really recommend it to them, especially because when you are getting started, it’s good to have that extra help,” Perry said.
Each teacher winds up with a cart full of free items. Kling said each teacher ends up leaving with about $475 worth of school supplies each time.
“The only thing they don’t need is a credit card or a bank card, they just need to have their school ID badge,” she said.