For Wake County teachers on a traditional calendar, this is the final week before school begins — and many educators are still struggling to provide classroom supplies for their incoming students. WakeEd Partnership, a nonprofit committed to improving public education and advocating for excellent educational opportunities for all students, is determined to help.
WakeEd’s Tools4Schools is a free classroom supply store serving Wake County Public Schools. All educators and certified staff are invited to sign up for an open time slot to shop for free classroom supplies every quarter
We recently spoke with WakeEd Partnership’s president Keith Poston to learn more about the program and how the community can help.
How long has WakeEd hosted Tools4Schools?
We opened Tools4Schools in January 2022 and it is now available to all 11,000 Wake County teachers. In the first six months of operation, Tools4Schools served 700 teachers. This past school year, Tools4Schools served 4,000 teachers. And in just three weeks this month, about 1,300 teachers will shop at Tools4Schools. Since Tools4Schools opened in January 2022, WakeEd Partnership has given away more than $340,000 in new classroom supplies to Wake County Public School teachers.
How does it work?
All the items at Tools4Schools are free to teachers, but teachers are limited in how much they can procure from the shop each quarter by a point system. Each item is worth a certain number of points, and they get 100 of them per quarter.
Why is this a necessary and important event for the community and its teachers?
In a survey conducted by WakeEd last year, Wake County teachers reported spending an average of $926 out of their own pockets for classroom supplies for their students. 98% of teachers agree that Tools4Schools has reduced their out-of-pocket expenses.
How can we help?
The community can support Tools4Schools in many ways. They can donate new classroom supplies directly and shop our Amazon Wish List for the most requested items for teachers and have them shipped directly to Tools4Schools. They can also volunteer, host their own supply drive for Tools4Schools, or donate money to help keep the shelves stocked for our teachers. All this information can be found at https://www.wakeed.org/tools4schools/