The Northwest ISD Education Foundation last week held a grand opening event for its new free store and library for teachers to get resources and educational materials for their classrooms.
Teachers can “shop” for school and classroom supplies, snack packs, clothing items and books. All items are free to district educators, who will use them in their classrooms to support students, according to a news release from Northwest ISD.
“This started during the pandemic, when we realized how many students needed support at home and the vision was to provide school supplies for students in need,” said Alyssa Pry, director of communications and public relations for NEF. “As we spoke with employees across the district, we realized this was also a need for classroom teachers who were filling gaps for students every day.”
The resource store held a soft launch in October 2020 and has filled more than 170 requests in five months. The library held a soft launch a month later and has provided each teacher with up to 15 books to take to his or her classrooms per month. With the new full opening, led by a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 27, teachers will now be able to shop for items from on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and some Saturdays, according to the district. Northwest ISD educators also have the option of submitting requests online through a Google Form.
The foundation has historically funded two primary areas: teacher classroom grants and scholarships for graduating seniors. Jennifer Burton, executive director of NEF, said the pandemic led to the creation of a district initiative fund to provide more support to additional student and staff areas of need.
“Establishing the fund has given us an opportunity to serve the whole student – both inside and outside of the classroom,” Burton said. “It’s a great way for NEF to meet these immediate needs while continuing to support teachers and students in the capacity we always have.”