CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- North Carolina teachers are taking part on an online movement helping teachers save on school supplies.
Texas Teacher Courtney Jones created the Support a Teacher and Clear the List movement on July 1. It encourages teachers to create Amazon wish lists and share them on social media.
She said it has reached 200,000 teachers already nationwide.
“It was initially teachers helping teachers because we needed to have a place to do that but it has since, like you said, a dual purpose, it’s for the public to get involved and for us to actually change educational funding policies,” Jones said.
Some Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers, including Crista Washington, shared their own lists with other teachers on Facebook groups that are part of this initiative.
“I’ve been having a lot of people say ‘hey, enjoy your gift,’ and in turn, I would buy an item from their list,” Washington said.
Washington who has been teaching science at Druid Hills Academy since 2016 said every school year she has spent $400 dollars on supplies for her classroom.
“It does become hard to spend that amount on top of having to fund the other things that we have to fund outside of the classroom,” Washington said.
Dominquie Anthony who will be a third grade at Ashley Park Elementary this August echoes that sentiment.
She is grateful for the support she has received since she posted her list a month ago.
“With me just moving, I wouldn't have been able to get basically anything for my classroom and it's a new district and new school. And also with me moving to a new place, I was blessed to have this group and the teachers donate to my wish list,” Anthony said.
Jones said she has also reached out to congressmen and legislators with hopes to have a long-term impact on educational funding.
“It’s built upon the frustration of poor educational funding and how we as teachers are not provided the resources we need with budget cuts and things like that, our jobs can become a lot more difficult,” Jones said.
Politicians, musicians and other celebrities have also raised awareness about the group on Twitter.
Some are donating to teachers who posted their lists on Twitter with the hashtag Clear the Lists.
On Sunday, Jeffree Star, owner of a cosmetic brand, tweeted he donated $25,000 to the Support a Teacher movement.
If a business is interested in helping several teachers or helping create a website for the movement, email firstname.lastname@example.org.