If you asked most teachers to share something about their job that they wished more parents and students knew, there’s one thing they would almost all say. Too often, teachers end up spending hundreds of dollars out of their own bank account to furnish and stock their classrooms each year.
It’s sad but true. In addition to all of the other things teachers are asked to do, paying out of pocket to provide an optimal classroom experience for their students can be an unsung (expensive) burden.
At Foothill Credit Union, we know this all too well, since we are proud to count school districts and educational institutions among our Select Employer Groups. We put the future in teachers’ hands, and for that, we believe teachers deserve an extra helping hand. It’s why we offer additional benefits for educators, such as savings programs, special loans, and classroom programs.
It’s also why we’ve put together a list of outside-of-the-box ways to stretch or expand a classroom supply budget. Take a look and share with your coworkers and teacher friends!
1. ASK FOR FAMILY DONATIONS
Don’t be shy about reaching out to parents when you need items like Kleenex, pencils, glue sticks, etc. They’re used to seeing these things on the school supply lists at the beginning of the year, so they won’t be shocked if you reach out periodically to ask for refills.
Consider using a QR code linked to an online wishlist at someplace like Amazon so parents can conveniently and quickly send needed items directly to you!
2. REACH OUT TO LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS
Civic organizations like the Elks Lodge and Boys and Girls Club are often happy to help schools get donations for students or adopt a classroom. Check out this great blog post about how to organize a school supply drive for your school.
3. START A DONORSCHOOSE CAMPAIGN
DonorsChoose helps teachers find one-to-one matching donations on much-needed items for their classrooms. On this site, public school teachers can create project requests to help their classrooms get what they need. Then, donors can either donate directly to a classroom or give in a lump sum to be distributed to different projects.
4. TRADE SUPPLIES WITH OTHER TEACHERS
Another option to help teachers spend less on their classroom is to trade supplies with other teachers. Reach out to other teachers at your school to see the items of which they might have more than they need. Maybe you have more cleaning supplies than you need at the moment, and they’re over-strength on whiteboard markers. Voila! Trade these items and you both win.
Consider creating a Google spreadsheet or document that teachers at your school can access to let other teachers know there’s a need, and so other teachers can help out.
5. TAKE IT TO SOCIAL MEDIA
In 2019, teachers used the hashtag #ClearTheLists to donate to classrooms so teachers could get the items that they need from their online wishlists from online shoppers.
6. OBTAIN GRANTS
For bigger purchases, like classroom libraries, consider applying for a grant. The Book Love Foundation, for example, is a grant awarding organization that helps teachers who have a demonstrated interest in encouraging a love of reading in their students. Additionally, see if any local organizations in your community, county, or school district offer grants to schools, classrooms, or teachers.
As a credit union, Foothill is dedicated to investing in improving and helping the community. That’s why we offer a Classroom Improvement Grant of up to $500 to certified teachers, specialists, and librarians. Let us know what you could do with a Classroom Improvement Grant to improve the learning experience for your students!
7. TAKE OUT A CAREER SUPPLY LOAN
Another benefit available to educators through Foothill Credit Union is our Career Supply Loans. These low- or no-cost loans allow you to borrow up to $1,000 with 12 months to repay.
LET FOOTHILL CREDIT UNION TAKE YOUR CLASSROOM SUPPLY BUDGET TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Stretching your classroom supply budget is just one way Foothill Credit Union is privileged to help dedicated teachers. We offer a variety of benefits to teachers, and it doesn’t stop at outfitting your classroom. Other educator benefits include:
- Career Advancement Loans and Scholarships
- Technology Loans
- Educator Plus Savings
- Summertime Savings
- $700 off closing costs when you finance your home purchase through Foothill
You have access to all of this on top of the competitive rates on our loan products and higher dividends on our accounts available to the entire Foothill family!
Each year, teachers spend an average of $459 on classroom supplies, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Teachers already give so much to help educate the next generation.
You care about your students, and we care about you. Click below to learn more about how Foothill Credit Union can help you, your classroom, and your students.
*Foothill is not affiliated with any of the organizations mentioned.