A new Facebook group allows Loudoun County residents to cover the cost of extra classroom supplies that educators would otherwise have to buy themselves, according to the group’s founder.
The group is called “Loudoun County, VA; Adopt a Teacher” and lets teachers post wish lists for their classrooms. People in the group can then “adopt” teachers and buy the supplies they want.
Teaching assistant Sadia Kullane is excited to show her students the brand new items from her wish list headed to her classroom at Broad Run High School.
Kullane is among hundreds of Loudoun County educators whose wish list of special supplies is being spotlighted in the new Facebook group. Several teachers are chosen each day at random to feature in the group.
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The group was created by teacher Jen Hitchcock in an effort to help educators offset the hundreds, even thousands of dollars most spend on the extra items for their classrooms.
“I started it with the idea of teachers creating an Amazon wish list,” Hitchcock said. “You put the list up with a little blurb about who you are, where you teach and what you teach, and the link goes straight to their wish list.”
According to its homepage on Facebook, the group has 1,200 teachers signed up with 5,000 members. Members of the group include individuals and businesses that are helping cross items off the wish lists.
In addition to her role as a teaching assistant for students with autism, Kullane leads a Special Olympics team. She said wish list items such as gift cards can help her buy uniforms.
“They can’t wait for the school year to start and to share with everybody, all the students, to see what we have,” Kullane said.
Hitchcock said the type of kind of praise and encouragement the group generates is just what teachers need after two very hard years.
“Teachers are beginning to feel excited to get back into the grind of things. They feel supported by their community during a time when many of them did not,” Hitchcock said.
Many grateful teachers posted messages of thanks in response to the completion of their wish lists. One teacher posted to the group: “Thank you…I'm literally crying. It's so nice to start the school year with support.”
Hitchcock said other school districts are already setting up their own groups and she hopes the group’s support and supplies will help sustain these teachers all school year long.