To kick off Teacher Appreciation Week, Hamilton County Schools announced the launch of the HCS Teacher Shop, a completely free supply store for all Hamilton County Schools teachers. The HCS Teacher Shop, which is sponsored by the Hamilton County Schools Foundation, will open this fall and be located in the former Hillcrest Elementary School building on Bonny Oaks Drive.
“Over the past year, the efforts of our teachers to educate our children during a global pandemic have been truly heroic,” said Dr.
Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “Their resiliency has been an inspiration to our community, and we are honored to celebrate their work this week.”
The HCS Teacher Shop was inspired by the success of the Hamilton County Teacher Supply Depot Community PTA, which provided free supplies for teachers who were members of the PTA. Every year, teachers spend their own money to purchase school supplies, snacks, hygiene items and other materials for their classrooms. The average out of pocket cost for these purchases is $500.
“Classroom supplies are crucial because, when we have them, it eliminates a hill that we as educators often have to climb to get kids working,” said Whitney Whitaker, sixth grade language arts and social studies teacher at Brown Middle School. “There are many different schools where kids just don't come to school with a pencil or basic supplies, and having supplies on hand can really alleviate stress from some students. I look forward to the free teacher store to not only build up supplies that I keep for kids, but also to help new teachers find a resource that can help them reach all of their kids.”
In addition to school supplies, the HCS Teacher Shop will feature materials for instructional use such as art supplies, crafting and STEAM materials, classroom decor, containers/organizers and office supplies for teacher use.
“We don't always know why a student does not have what they need for class,” said Kathy Lennon, Hamilton County Schools Foundation Board member and former Hamilton County School Board member. “They may already feel bad about a situation outside of school or be embarrassed to come to school without their own supplies. That should not prevent them from being able to learn or participate in class that day. Making sure every student has what they need to succeed fosters a sense of pride and belonging that is vital to student achievement.”
How to Donate
The Hamilton County Schools Foundation is seeking donations of new or gently used materials from local businesses and community members to stock the shelves in time for the start of school next August. Businesses and individuals who are interested in pitching in can support the Teacher Shop in a number of ways:
1. Donate new and gently used school and classroom supplies during the month of May. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week May 3-7, we will be collecting supplies at the Chattanooga Market, located in the First Horizon Pavilion, 1826 Carter Street, from 11am-4pm every Sunday in May and every day in May at the Staples location on Gunbarrel Road. Supplies can also be ordered from our Amazon Wishlist at https://a.co/8ygsW9N to be shipped directly to the store, or dropped off at Central Office, located at 3074 Hickory Valley Road. If you need to arrange the dropoff or pickup of larger donations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Make a monetary donation to the Hamilton County Schools Foundation. Designate your gift for the HCS Teacher Shop and the Hamilton County Schools Foundation will use the funding to purchase wholesale supplies at a discounted rate. Online donations can be made at: https://dsnp.co/a9H7JU.
3. For local businesses or community groups, host a supply drive or consider becoming a sponsor of the HCS Teacher Shop. Sponsors will be recognized in the store on Shopping Days and throughout the year online. For more information on hosting a supply drive or becoming a sponsor, contact Susannah DeMaria, Development and Grants Facilitator at Hamilton County Schools at 423-498-7253 or email@example.com.
The HCS Teacher Shop will gladly accept any materials that are in new or gently used condition that can be used by teachers. If you have any questions regarding donating items, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All donations are tax-deductible. For a complete wish list of supplies, visit hcde.org/community/hcsfoundation
or view the Amazon Wishlist at https://a.co/8ygsW9N
. Some of the top-requested items are:
Loose Leaf Paper
Sticky Chart Paper
Dry Erase Markers