Macon-area teachers receive free supplies to help ease burden of paying themselves

Dressed in bright yellow t-shirts and surrounded by bags the same color, volunteers Tuesday helped Macon area teachers get needed school supplies without paying for them out of their own pockets.

Teachers walked around the Monument Room in the Macon Centreplex gathering items offered at the annual Kroger’s teacher supply giveaway. Attendees received up to $30 in school supplies like markers, paper, tape and disposable hand wipes.

Kimberly Hollingshed was one of the many Kroger volunteers helping check teachers in, giving them vouchers for the supplies and packing their supplies to go.

“We’re hoping that this project will let the teachers know that we really and truly appreciate them and all that they do in our community,” Hollingshed said.

The event, sponsored by Kroger’s Atlanta Division, is meant to alleviate the “pressure on teachers, by providing the tools they need to successfully educate our children,” Felix Turner, corporate affairs manager for the division, said in a news release.

“Each year, an increasing number of teachers are forced to use their own paycheck to purchase classroom supplies,” Turner said.

According to a 2018 survey by the National Center for Education Statistics, 94% of teachers pay for classroom supplies using their own money.

First-year teacher Amy Morgan left Tuesday’s giveaway with lots of supplies for her classroom. She said she was happy she wouldn’t have to purchase all of the needed school supplies herself.

“That is generally a pretty expensive thing to do, especially before you’ve gotten your first paycheck,” said Morgan, who will be teaching at Bibb County’s Springdale Elementary school.

Kenneth Lemoine is an intern for the Telegraph for Summer of 2019, courtesy of the Couric Fellowship Program at Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism. He writes about anything interesting that is taking place in Macon and Central Georgia, and he loves sports being a die-hard Atlanta Braves fan. When he is not working, you can catch him playing MLB The Show, Madden NFL, NBA 2K, and other similar sports video games.