Tuesday, February 25, 2020
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Need or have supplies for students? See Melissa.

A swap in Baltimore, established three years ago, allows teachers and other educators to bring in unused school supplies or bring those supplies they find in a rented warehouse back to their schools for their students, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Melissa Badeker started the Teacher Supply Swap with stuff she had thrown away herself when she was a teacher in Baltimore City. Now she has rooms and rooms full of the stuff.

Some of the stock in the warehouse, located at 1224 Wicomico Street, is the result of schools not managing their inventory properly, buying more than they need. And the shortages that many teachers make up for out of their own pockets have many, many causes and sources.

But much of what’s in the swap comes from teachers who have donated their own unused supplies, thinking it would be good to save some future teacher the expense of purchasing those supplies. Although there’s not much paper in excess, there are pencils, dry erase markers, pens, and other vital supplies.

“We’re getting supplies that are excess, and teachers are swamping this place to get those supplies,” the Sun quoted Ms Badeker as saying. “No matter who you are, if you think you need free school supplies, you should be able to have access to them, particularly when there is so much available.”

In many places across the country during this month, assorted organizations sponsor school supply giveaways.

The Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund (DSEF) and its partners, Tulane University’s Staff Advisory Council, and the Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans, announced plans for its ninth Annual Back to School Extravaganza, a free school supply giveaway targeted toward New Orleans students of all ages, the Times-Picayune reports.

The event takes place August 27 at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans and features live music, dancing, and the announcement of the winners of an annual essay contest, HIV and STD screenings (provided by the Louisiana State University Medical and Dental schools), as well as haircuts, face painting, and henna tattoos.

And if you have no access to a school supply giveaway, think about either taking advantage of back-to-school sales or waiting until after the peak period has passed, when prices that are inflated by high demand might shift back to normal ranges.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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