line outside of the American Legion. They’re waiting to get their chance to shop for school supplies, but without spending any of their money.
Each elementary school teacher or teaching assistant in the area was invited to come shop at the tenth annual Teacher Supply Store. The East Chapel Hill Rotary Club fundraises all year to be able to afford the $45,000 of school supplies given away just at this event.
Pat Phelan is a chairperson for the Rotary Club and is the 2016 Chairman for the Teacher Supply Store. He says the best thing about the event is seeing the appreciation from the teachers. “They are so appreciative, they really, really do need it, and it’s just great to see such great smiles on their faces.”
Lynn Lehmann is the Executive Director of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation. She says the foundation’s job is shopping and organizing all of the supplies. She says the project got started as a way for the Public School Foundation to express to teachers that they matter. “The idea was to mainly reward and make teachers feel honored and appreciated as they start the new school year. And I think that they do feel that.”
Nelson says that as she stands in line to receive the sharpies and cardstock she would normally have to buy herself, she does feel honored and appreciated. “It’s just very generous, especially with the state budget cuts right now. Less resources, less parents are going to have to supply, so we’re just so thankful to the Public School Foundation and the Rotary Club for opening this up for us.”
Next year’s Teacher Supply Store will be for Middle and High School teachers. The East Chapel Hill Rotary Club will begin fundraising again as the school year begins.