Teachers aim to save while stocking up on school supplies

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Teachers are seeking different avenues to find ways to save and get the supplies they need without having to break the bank.

This week, teachers moved into their classrooms for the fall, searching for supplies and furniture needed to customize their rooms.

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In Chesterfield County, new and veteran teachers shopped at a store front, From Crayons To Computers, grabbing books, desks, chairs, posters, and other materials needed for the school year.

The supplies are donated from various organizations and local businesses.

For Stephanie Jay, the free supplies provided by the store is vital. This will be her first year teaching first grade at J.B. Watkins Elementary, which means she needed everything under the sun to stalk up her classroom.

Stephanie Jay
Stephanie Jay

“It’s kind of tough sometimes depending on what school you’re at and what area,” Jay said, “as teachers, we don’t get paid that much, so a lot of our paycheck does go into shopping for materials. It’s really nice to be able to get free things and save some money, as well.”

In Richmond, Susan Revenson-Hawes is a veteran teacher, working for Richmond Public Schools for 14 years now. She said unlike new teachers, she does not have to start from scratch but finds the best deals throughout the summer.

Susan Revenson-Hawes
Susan Revenson-Hawes

“I have bought a lot of things in my room and they have traveled from room to room to room and sometimes they are hand-me-downs from my house,” Revenson-Hawes said. “Bookcases came from IKEA and the rocking chair was at a yard sale. I yard sale in the summer. It’s the greatest way to get things for your classroom.”

This year, Revenson-Hawes will be teaching Pre-K at Summer Hill Elementary School. She is one of the many teachers across the country turning to a crowdfunding site, that allows teachers to post a project asking for specific supplies or materials wanted for their classroom.


People can donate to the project and help fund it, giving the teacher the materials they need to create a customized classroom.

“This summer I put a project up for a listening center so that got funded and sometime in the next couple of weeks I will have the furniture and the equipment for the listening center,” Revenson-Hawes said.

She said January and February are when teachers need help replenishing their supplies, especially tissues and Clorox wipes.


Regardless of how they get their supplies, teachers have one goal in mind: to create a positive learning environment for their students.

“It’s extremely important for the students to know how important the materials are and how beneficial they are to the teachers as well,” Stephanie Jay said.

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