Tools 4 Schools opens as free supply store for Wake County teachers

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- WakeEd and the Wake County Public School System celebrated the grand opening of the Tools 4 Schools store. It's a free supply store for teachers and according to teachers, it's exactly what they need.

"At the beginning of the year, we start off collecting the supplies we need. About half way through the first quarter we need some more again and many times there are lots of schools that are supportive of us, but not every school has that support, so we need organizations to step up and help us," Heritage Middle School teacher Jennifer Pride said.

The shelves are stocked with everything a teacher may need from pencils to post it notes. Over the last nine months, WakeEd has secured a space and raised $150,000 to support Tools 4 Schools for the first year.

For the next two years, Wake County Public School System will donate an old car dealership on Piney Plains Drive in Cary. It's a space they acquired for a future bus depot.

Teachers will be invited to shop in waves based on need. Title One schools will be given priority. Teachers will sign up online and they can shop with points rewarded to them every semester.

On average North Carolina teachers spend more than $500 of their own money on school supplies every year. But Tools 4 Schools is designed to change that.

"There has never been anything like this for (WCPSS) so the idea that the community has rallied around teachers during such a challenging time for us, it just feels so hopeful for the profession," Pride said.

The store will be open three days a week. Every semester, teachers will receive points so they can shop for their classroom.
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