Article from The Daily Courier (Nanci Hutson)
Prescott Unified School District retired first- grade teacher Jane Robertson knows better than most how much classroom teachers and other educators spend out of their own pocket on basic school supplies.
She estimated she personally invested at least $500 a year.
No teacher wants one of their students to have less than what they need to succeed in the classroom — be it a backpack, pencils, notebooks or a graphing calculator, area education supporters said. Not to mention a teachers’ need this year for hand sanitizer, tissues, hand soap, wipes and other disinfectant products, they said.
So it makes sense that when Robertson retired she teamed up with fellow retiree Carol Yetman to clean out a closet in the district Family Resource Center and turn it into what is now known as PUSD’s “Teacher’s Closet.”
From the start, the Prescott Education Foundation, of which Robertson is a board member, embraced the notion, providing a $6,500 start-up donation from a foundation gala two years ago. Robertson and Yetman then leveraged those dollars, along with additional donations from various charities, church groups, businesses and individuals, to stock the shelves of what started as simply a closet. Today, the PUSD “Teacher’s Closet” is a conference-sized room filled with supplies, furniture and technology suitable for classrooms in the six-school district that also includes a pre-school with satellite classes in the three elementary schools.
If there is something a teacher wants that is not available on their monthly visit, Robertson shops until she finds it.
This worthwhile endeavor has won the foundation’s backing, and recently generated a $7,000 donation from Desert Financial Credit Union that will soon be opening one of its branches in Prescott.
“We know teachers dip into their own pockets to make sure their students have the supplies they need,” said Miles Kastner, branch manager with Desert Financial Credit Union.
“Our credit union was founded by educators, so we’ve paid tribute to their legacy by lending support to education. It was our pleasure to help get the Teacher’s Closet stocked up.”