As the TEA-appointed Board of Managers looks to repair a fractured BISD school district, budget cuts and Reduction in Force (RIF) continue to affect the lives of teachers, students and members of the community. In response, a growing number of local businesses and individuals are volunteering their time and effort to handle what they believe will be an overwhelming need for classroom supplies caused by budgetary cuts.
“No matter what happens, there’s still going to be a lot of layoffs,” said Sarah Sanders, a West Brook High School alumna and organizer of BISD Adopt a Teacher, a movement of concerned citizens dedicated to the support of the educators within the BISD community. “I was thinking, ‘What can we do to help these teachers?’ … They’re still going to have to be buying supplies for all these kids that are going to be in their classes with the likely increased class sizes.”
Sanders said her mother was a teacher, though not for BISD, and buying supplies for her students out of her own pocket was a regular occurrence.
“My mom was a single mother … and I remember how hard it was for her to buy anything on that budget especially when you are having to buy your own classroom supplies. I remember her having to buy school supplies for her class,” Sanders said. “Many people who were on the RIF are my former teachers that I looked up to, and it really upset me. I started by helping with student protests because it was really personal for me. I don’t think it is right that they are going to lay off teachers and hurt their families. I also thought it might be good to have a supply drive and fundraisers to help supply these teachers … that way they wouldn’t have to spend their own money.”
Sanders and other concerned citizens have organized the following drives and fundraisers to aid BISD teachers:
• Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings, 3939 Dowlen Road, Suite No. 11
July 23, 11 a.m. – midnight
In order for 10 percent of proceeds from a Buffalo Wild Wings purchase to go to the fundraiser, customers need to show the “ticket” as an image on their phone or print it out. The ticket can be found at www.facebook.com/adoptaBISDteacher.
• Raising Canes
Raising Canes, 4160 Dowlen Road
July 30, 4-9 p.m.
Fifty percent of total profits will be donated, Sanders said.
In addition, donation boxes to collect supplies are set up from now until July 23 at Tattoos by Mundo, 2490 Calder Avenue; Raising Canes, 4160 Dowlen Road; Buffalo Wild Wings, 3939 Dowlen Road Suite No. 11; and Grandma’s Basement, 2406 Calder Ave.
Sanders said BISD teachers are in need of Scotch tape, double-stick tape, masking tape, glue sticks, notebook paper, copy paper, construction paper, manila paper, file folders, pocket folders, pens, pencils, erasers, Crayola Crayons, Sharpies, Expo dry erase markers, Kleenex, Clorox wipes, sanitizer, poster board, grading pens (red, green, purple, etc.), electric sharpeners, highlighters.
Ink cartridges will be needed, but as these are unique to each type of printer; the best way to get them is monetary donations, such as attending the Buffalo Wild Wings fundraiser.
“Any kind of supplies are appreciated,” Sanders said.
BISD teachers appreciate the support from the community and Adopt a Teacher, she said.
“I’ve talked to several BISD teachers and they are glad we are getting supplies for them,” Sanders said.
“I’ve have actually been in contact with several of the teachers unions in Beaumont to try to decide who to give the supplies to … to make sure they are distributed evenly,” she said.
For more information on BISD Adopt a Teacher, visit www.facebook.com/adoptaBISDteacher.