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Teachers seek innovative ways to cut classroom costs

Posted at 5:46 PM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-09 16:26:58-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Many teachers spend money out of their own pockets to make sure their students have what they need to learn.

According to a survey released by the National Center for Education Statistics, 94% of teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies. On average, teachers dish out about $479 of their own money and 7% spend more than $1,000, the survey found.

Yvelia Munoz is a first grade teacher at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in West Oso Independent School District. She says over the years she has probably spent thousands of dollars on supplies for her classroom and students.

"So when they come in here, they already have glue, scissors, crayons and pencils," Munoz says. "Just in case they come in and do not have their own supplies."

She says she has become quite the bargainer when it comes to buying school supplies.

"Whatever the best deal, I try to get," Munoz said. "Whatever supply it is, I'll just look at all the ads and see which one is the cheapest and go from there."

Just down the hall, kindergarten teacher Veronica Carranza saves money by making materials herself.

"As far as working stations, I created several over the summer instead of going and buying the $50 stations or $30 stations." Carranza says.

Carranza also made pencil holders out of straws and tape so that each student has a designated place to keep their pencil.

Aside from finding good deals and creative "do it yourself" projects, many teachers have turned to Amazon to help fill their classrooms.

Thousands of teachers across the country are creating wish lists on Amazon to help them stock their rooms. People can go to the wish list and purchase a gift that will be sent to the school.

Many teachers will share the list with friends and family on social media. There are even regional Facebook pages where teachers post links to these Amazon classroom wish lists.

This is Veronica Carranza's first year creating an Amazon wish list but she is hopeful to get some donations. She says that when she receives items for her classroom, it is a weight off her shoulders.

"Because I know my students are going to be able to be successful in the classroom they're gonna have what they need, they're gonna feel comfortable," Carranza said. "They're not going to have to worry about anything and it makes me comfortable knowing that they're ready it makes my job easier."

These teachers don't view spending their own money as a burden, but as an investment in a child's future.

"You're like how am I going to do this? How can I make it all work? But you do and in the end it's like didn't matter." Carranza says "They have what they need, I have what I need and that's what matters."

Click here for a list of Amazon classroom wish lists for local teachers.