By: Joanna Robertson—
Muncie, IN—With schools closed nationwide due to COVID-19 stay-at-home-orders, supporting students and their families with the basic tools for learning has become critical. The Back To School Teachers Store, a non-profit providing free essential learning tools and supplies to teachers, students and families in Delaware County, has provided 5,000 students with remote learning supplies since mid-March.
“Pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers and books are the top requested items from teachers year after year,” said Stacy Wheeler, executive director of the Back To School Teachers Store. “These essential school supply items support both cognitive and fine motor skills for children. Most students left school without these essential supplies. Many families do not have access to basic school supplies such as a #2 pencil with a good eraser on it or a pencil sharpener, at home.”
The non-profit’s latest donation was distributed through Muncie Community School District’s six elementary school sites on Monday, May 4th. The donation consisted of home learning supply kits for 3,000 MCS elementary students and their families. The donation was made possible through a partnership with the Kids In Need Foundation, Staples, George and Frances Ball Foundation and SSC Services for Education.
Wheeler’s husband, Darren, who is a Ball State professor in the political science department and their 10-year-old daughter Amy, who attends East Washington Academy, provided most of the volunteer work required to assemble all 3,000 supply kits during the COVID-19 lockdown.
In 2019, the Back To School Teachers Store provided more than 30,000 quality books to students to promote the love of reading in Delaware County. The nonprofit also distributed approximately $825,000 in free essential classroom supplies to 10,000 students across 70 learning environments in 13 school systems last year, thanks to local and national donors.
“Teachers claim that year-round access to our resource center is key to their success in advancing their students interest in learning,” said Wheeler. “For most of our volunteers, donors and staff this is the reason why we get out of bed. We serve to advance our most precious resources, our community’s kids and their access to a quality education.”
For more information about The Back to School Teachers Store please visit https://www.backtoschoolteacherstore.org/.
About BTSTS Teachers Store:
The Back To School Teachers Store (BTSTS) is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit serving Pre-K – 12th grade teachers who work in Delaware County, Indiana. BTSTS Teachers Store operates one of 40 free teachers stores in the United States and since 2017, became a junior affiliate of the national Kids In Need Foundation. Our mission is to provide children in area schools the basic tools for learning by transferring surplus merchandise into the hands of teachers for use in their classrooms.