Education
5:28 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Winston-Salem Non-Profit Offers Free School Supplies & Classroom Materials for Teachers

Monday is the first day of school for thousands of children in the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School system.  For students and teachers alike, it’s also the time for buying school supplies.  

Karel Chandler is director of the Educator Warehouse in Winston-Salem. She says since January of this year, the center has received  more than 1,000 teacher visits.
Karel Chandler is director of the Educator Warehouse in Winston-Salem. She says since January of this year, the center has received more than 1,000 teacher visits.
Credit Educator Warehouse

For the past three years, a non-profit organization called the Educator Warehouse has been providing free school supplies and other items for teachers in Forsyth County.

The center is located on Hutton Street behind Diggs-Latham Elementary School.  Center director, Karel Chandler says teachers have four shopping rooms to pick from.

“One room has school supplies, like pens, pencils, paper and crayons. We have a curriculum room that includes free lesson plans that retired teachers have passed along. We have a bulletin board/art room. We also have a classroom library, so teachers can get books to start their own classroom library,” says Chandler.

Currently, the store is only open to teachers in Forsyth County Public Schools.

Chandler says they can shop the Educator Warehouse once each quarter, or about four times a year.  All of the materials and supplies are donated by local businesses, organizations and community members.  

Nationally, there has been a movement by the Kids in Need Foundation to provide underfunded teachers and disadvantaged school children with free school supplies. In February, the organization opened up a central location in Charlotte.

Chandler says she started a similar program in Winston-Salem because she wanted to help fill the need in her community.

“Because of our state budget cuts, this is certainly helping the teachers and they are just thrilled with the concept. I have had 386 teachers in the last four days shop with us, which is six percent of the teachers in Forsyth County. Our mission is that all of our students are on an even playing field at the start of the day.”

Chandler says teachers must register online to schedule a shopping time.