How to Help Teachers Scrambling to Find Supplies Before School Begins

The Education Partnership is trying to fill the gap by providing pens, pencils and other supplies to teachers

We trust teachers to educate our children. We often discuss the nobility of the profession. But when it comes to equipping educators with the tools to do their job, society has fallen far short.

"Every year I have to spend money to get basic things such as crayons, pencils," says Jeanna Postupac.

Ms. Postupac is a young teacher in Western Pennsylvania who is spending her own money on classroom materials that her school, her district, and her state are not providing.

She is not alone.

According to Josh Whiteside, CEO of The Education Partnership , the average American teacher spends about $500 on supplies each school year.

That's where his non-profit comes in, aiming to reduce that spending for teachers and outfit them and their students with some great core supplies and some special items as well.

While the bulk of their donations are received right before school starts, Whiteside says they actually rely on donations year round. Teachers drive to Pittsburgh's Sheraden neighborhood from as far away as Greene and Fayette counties to pick up supplies.

To donate cash you can text PENCIL to 41444 or you can donate at They also accept supply drop offs at their loading dock in Sheraden.

The Education Partnership's STEAM Lending Library (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)

Schools apply to receive supplies from The Education Partnership. There are currently 139 schools getting help.

The Education Partnership receives major monetary donations from corporate partners but also relies on small individual donations and from supply drop offs as well.

They cater to seven counties in Western Pennsylvania and this year, will be providing $4.5 million in supplies to 55,000 students.

Teachers are surveyed about the efficacy of the program every time they visit the supply center and Whiteside says that 88% of teachers say they see overall academic improvement, 95% see creativity improvement, 97% say supplies have an important or critical impact on daily lesson activity and they also report improved self esteem and attendance among their students.

Please consider dropping off supplies to their Sheraden supply center, donating some money online or simply texting PENCIL to 41444 to donate right from your phone.

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