Underfunded teachers turn to Facebook for help in the classroom

"Everything you send to a teacher means one less thing that they have to go purchase themselves."

Paul Kurtz
October 21, 2018 - 10:00 pm

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- From New Jersey to California, underfunded teachers are turning to social media to get the supplies they need.

"A Newton’s Law Kit, circuit games, there's also Crayola Model Magic, so we can build diagrams and solar system models," said Valerie Potero, a science teacher at Feltonville Intermediate School.

Last week, she posted her classroom wish list to the Facebook page, Help A Teacher, which is dedicated to assisting educators in need across the county.

Potero says she is optimistic that a fairy godmother out there somewhere will grant her wish very soon.

Help A Teacher is the non-profit brainchild of Debbie Scott, a Midland Texas woman, who launched the page in February.

Scott says she has watched the page’s "likes" balloon to more than 53,000, and how this is a reflection of the desperate need for classroom supplies.

"Everything you send to a teacher means one less thing that they have to go purchase themselves," she said.

Here's how it works.

After teachers post what they need, donors then have the choice of which educator they would like to help. Once the selection is made, donor will then go to Amazon to purchase the teacher’s wish list.

"We see a lot of things like pens, pencil, erasers,” Scott said. “We see a lot of books, a lot of little things. We'll see somebody that sends a box of crayons, and that teacher is so grateful. Some of my favorite gifts are the ones where they just send a small box of pencils because that's all they could afford to send."

Scott says the Help A Teacher page is being used in all 50 states.