Local school struggles with funds for classroom supplies

Feb 27, 2014 2:54 PM

It's a struggle that many public schools continue to deal with; coming up with money for basic classroom supplies. Some schools just don't have room in the budget and have to raise the funds themselves. In Chico, Hooker Oak Elementary is preparing for a big fundraiser to help with the problem. Monica Brown, a 1st grade teacher at Hooker Oak, faces the same challenge that many teachers are up against.

"School supplies that a lot of people probably take for granted: glue sticks, pencils, paper; all of those things add up. It's really difficult to get through the school year without simple school supplies. We sort of start the year off strong, and then by Christmas all of our school supplies are diminished," she says.

Hooker Oak relies heavily on donations from the community to be able to put on anywhere from 10 to 20 fundraisers a year. With 380 students in 18 classrooms, the budget for supplies adds up quick.

"Each year we need to raise approximately $30,000 for supplies," says Brown.

And that financial struggle directly affects daily lessons in the classroom.

5th grader Colby Cramer-Hicks says, "You have to wait a long time sometimes to get something you really need."

"We have to share at times and that can make a simple lesson very difficult," says Brown.

Parent volunteer groups at Hooker Oak say they spend at least 6 months out of the year planning for their fundraisers, leaving them with less time to help in the classroom.

If you'd like to help, Hooker Oak is holding a "Spring Fling" dinner fundraiser at the Sierra Nevada Big Room Friday March 7th. More information is available at chicospringfling.com, or if you'd like to see what other schools in your area are in need of, you can visit the website donorschoose.org.


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