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How You Can Help ‘Support A Teacher’ Provide for Students Across the US

teacher and students
Support a Teacher is a crowdfunding solution to help ensure students have school supplies. (Photo: Pixabay)

“As a first year teacher, I am coming into the profession with no materials. Through this movement, I have been blessed to receive gifts from perfect strangers — some teachers, some in other professions, and even one celebrity.”

Under-funding, deteriorating textbooks, low wages, lack of support staff, and oversized classrooms were several reasons behind the wave of teacher strikes across the United States in 2019. The states of Virginia and West Virginia saw teachers strike; Denver, Colorado, Los Angeles and Oakland in California were also sights of major teacher strikes. 

While each strike ended with slightly better working conditions for teachers, many continue to face issues with under-funding, which keeps classrooms from having all the necessary materials to meet the needs of intellectually curious students.

What Is Support a Teacher & #ClearTheLists?

With classroom budgets being tight around the nation, teachers often have to use their own money to purchase items their students need to succeed. Courtney Jones an education activist and in her third year of teaching in Tyler County, Texas, where she teaches elementary school math created the Support a Teacher movement to help teachers in the classroom. From the organization website:

Our mission is to support teachers nationwide in their careers by providing opportunities to give and receive gifts, collaborate with other teachers, and feel welcomed in a community of like-minded people. Spreading a simple gift of love can provide teachers with love, a rejuvenation of ideas, a warm and safe place to ask questions and to be heard, and much more.

The movement has spread to several social media platforms and has already helped many teachers meet their classroom needs. Tweets from several of the teachers that include links to their wish lists are featured below. 


How It All Began and the Positive Impact

“On July 1 I created a small Facebook group called Support a Teacher and in about a week’s time we grew beyond 10,000 members. In two weeks, we had 20,000,” Courtney Jones told NBC News in late August. “Mainly, it was teachers to teachers. I said we need to get the public involved, so I said let’s go to Twitter. So we used the hashtag #ClearTheLists.”

The following are several Impact Stories featured on the Support a Teacher website detailing the good work of the organization.

From Sara Martel, a 6th-grade teacher in Texas.

“Without #clearthelists I would not have been able to get the basic supplies my kiddos need like highlighters, glue sticks, tissues and pencils…as well as items to make them more comfortable like wobble cushions and, of course, all the books. My family had a financial setback when my boyfriend was laid off for three months, so it just wouldn’t have been able to happen this year. #clearthelists made it so my kiddos have everything they need to be successful, and then some!”

Major concerns with education: “Supply funding and lack of prep time are definitely at the top of my list.”

Yearly Budget from District:”$150″

From Lorraine Wilson, a 6th-grade teacher in Maryland.

“As a first year teacher, I am coming into the profession with no materials. Through this movement, I have been blessed to receive gifts from perfect strangers — some teachers, some in other professions, and even one celebrity. I’ve also gifted 15 teachers…something that brings me as much joy as receiving packages! The most rewarding part, though, has by far been the connections I’ve made with other educators across the country. These lifelong connections will last far beyond the day the last pencil point meets the base of the donated eraser.”

Major concerns with education: “I’m concerned about class sizes, limited resources for ELL students, and supply funding.”

Yearly Budget from District:”$0″

The wish lists mentioned within the article along with a #ClearTheLists fundraising page are linked below.


Cynthia Miller’s List

Taryn Mahoney’s List

Lindsey Fuller’s List

Ms. Mac’s List

Terry Peterson’s List

Laura Norwood’s List

Mr. Sullivan’s List

Kiersty Wright’s List

Claudine Milano’s List

Mayda Henandez’s List

Walter Yeates

Walter Yeates is a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter who embedded at Standing Rock with military Veterans and First People in December 2016. He covers a range of topics at Citizen Truth and is open for tips and suggestions. Twitter: www.twitter.com/GentlemansHall or www.twitter.com/SmoothJourno Muckrack: https://muckrack.com/walteryeates

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