How you can help Utah teachers buy classroom supplies

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

WEST JORDAN – With the start of school just days away, a lot of teachers are reaching into their own wallets to buy school supplies. A foundation through the Jordan School District hopes to prevent them from having to do that.

"About this time of year is when it's on," said Buddy Alger, principal of Heartland Elementary School.

Desks are set up and assignments are printed out. But up until the moment the bell rings, teachers are busy checking their lists.

"A lot of these teachers do have a wish list and those are the things that oftentimes get neglected because it comes from extra money," said Mike Haynes, executive director of the Jordan Education Foundation.

Some are turning to the internet for help, like high school social studies teacher Katie Davis.

"There's a way to make an Amazon Wishlist and people are going to clear it out for you and send things to you," she said. "I was told it was mostly through Instagram, sharing it through influencer pages."

Davis said she quickly found out her list of must-haves would be pricey.

"Last year I realized I didn't have any tissues for my classroom and I had to go buy some that day because the school was out of them," she said.

That's where the Jordan Education Foundation steps in.

"Right now, we're beginning a new year, there's a lot of gaps," Haynes said. "Teachers are scrambling trying to meet needs and we're here to help them."

He said any of the district's 3,600 teachers can apply for a classroom grant through the foundation. The application is open through October.

"We work with businesses who are just genuinely wanting to give and help where they can," Haynes said.

Davis, who works in a different district, said the budget simply isn't big enough for a lot of teachers like herself. She's asking for change and for people to be understanding.

"It can really put a lot of pressure on you because we don't make a ton of money," she said.

Anyone in the community can donate to the foundation at any point during the school year.

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Utah K-12 educationUtahEducationHome & Family
Shelby Lofton


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