Local non-profit helping teachers afford school supplies

Local non-profit helping teachers afford school supplies
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:15 AM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 Duluth) - Soon both students and teachers will be heading back to the classrooms.

With inflation, school supplies may seem more expensive than ever.

But a local nonprofit in Duluth is working to help teachers gear up their classrooms this fall for free.

Walking around the store at Companies to Classrooms, it looks like a place to buy school supplies.

“Everything from the glue sticks to the crayons, to the markers, the scissors,” said Carolyn Schroeder, Volunteer Store Manager for Companies to Classrooms.

But the merchandise at the shop isn’t for sale, it’s free.

“I think it’s a community effort. I mean, we get our donations from all over,” said Schroeder.

The organization’s free supply store allows teachers to come in one day per month and pick up 15 items for their classrooms.

Some new and some used, the stock includes traditional academic supplies like spiral notebooks, gluesticks, and markers.

“We also have a little bit more fun things to craft items,” said Schroeder.

Adelle Wellens works with the Duluth Public Schools.

“The partnership has just been wonderful for us,” said Wellens, Communications Officer for Duluth Public Schools.

She says Companies to Classrooms helps many teachers in Duluth throughout the school year.

“When you’re going through your curriculum there might be a project that comes up that you might need supplies for,” said Wellens.

Although the store’s physical location is in Duluth, teachers travel from 15 different school systems across the region to come and pick up supplies.

According to Schroeder, a retired teacher, she loves seeing new teachers experience the store for the first time.

“To come and find out that they can get stuff that they really need for their classrooms free is awesome,” said Schroeder.

She said this is one way she’s helping the next generation of teachers and students.

“To see these teachers, just makes me smile, just makes me smile,” said Schroeder.

According to Leaders with Companies to Classrooms, they’re gearing up for the school year and will be opening up for teacher shopping at the end of August.

They’re in a new location at 901 East 11th street in Duluth.

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