FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cumberland County teachers are getting extra support as they prepare their classrooms for the new school year. Multiple local groups are collaborating to launch a fundraiser for donors to buy teachers school supplies. The goal is to prevent educators from having to pay out of pocket to incorporate learning tools in their classrooms.
The effort is called "Adopt a Teacher," and is being organized by the Fayetteville NAACP chapter, Shawn Knisely Marine Corps League 983 and the L3 Brand Community Alliance in partnership with Cumberland County Schools.
Cumberland County School officials say donation efforts like this can have a big impact. They say it is common for teachers to spend an average of $200 out of pocket to get the supplies their students' needs.
Organizers are encouraging residents to buy products off of Amazon wishlists for 11 teachers at Walker-Spivey Elementary School and W.H. Owen Elementary. Cumberland County Schools says it already gives $300 to new teachers for supplies and discourages educators from spending their own money. Still, teachers at Walker-Spivey told ABC11 that they would have individually spent almost $400 out of pocket to get the supplies they need on their lists if it weren't for the fundraiser.
"I ordered a lot of organizational student supplies. I ordered glue, because you can never have enough glue. Pencils, folders, things that students would need throughout the year," said Jennifer Jordan. "I really want to encourage everyone that you can make a difference. It doesn't matter how much you give."
"We try our very best to bring the world to our classrooms," said Sharisha Fuller, another teacher at Walker-Spivey. "So that they can see and that goes into our classroom setup. That goes into our classroom design, materials, access to different resources that they may not have access to at home."
Don Bennett of the Fayetteville NAACP chapter is one of the organizers of the fundraiser.
"The news has been out there that teachers, some of them are not being paid what they really are worth ... So if we can help them not spend their money to set up the classroom, I think that goes a long way."
Cumberland County Schools issued a statement saying in part:
"We certainly appreciate the support received from community partners. Throughout the county, several community partners have joined forces to gather school supplies for our students and educators. We are truly blessed in Cumberland County to have a supportive community that looks after our young people."
If there are teachers at other schools in Cumberland County that locals want to support, the organizers of Adopt a Teacher encourages them to call the school principal to ask about making donations.