TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Teachers across the Big Bend are getting their classrooms ready for students.
And while the setup can be costly, teachers need to know there is help out there.
"Teaching is probably one of the most important professions that I can think of. It takes a community to educate our children," said teacher Shari Gewanter.
Gewanter has devoted 22 years to teaching the next generation and her classroom proves it.
"Anyone that looks at my classroom says that I've got a lot of stuff," said Gewanter.
Most of her classroom is made possible with help from The Sharing Tree, a non-profit known for supplying teachers in the area with free or close to free school materials. A resource Gewanter is very thankful for.
"If I'm not buying materials for pens, pencils, markers, slip boards, binders, sheet protectors, then I can be putting money into things like science materials and more expensive things like technology and other important resources for the classroom," said Gewanter.
Carly Sinnadurai, Executive Director of The Sharing Tree, knows first-hand how difficult it can be for teachers to supply a classroom as she first started teaching art classes about 15 years ago.
"When I graduated from Florida State, I really wanted to be an art teacher and the need for supplies was insane," said Sinnadurai. "I saw it everywhere and the budget was so low and the need was so great for consumable materials."
The struggle inspired her to open The Sharing Tree.
"Teachers are at the center of and at the heart of what a community is and becomes that you always must support," said Sinnadurai. "I think as an art teacher myself, I think it's huge that we support teachers."
If you would like to donate, click here.
The Sharing Tree is open Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.