Teachers taking more steps to help other teachers

Aug 16, 2019, 12:55 AM | Updated: 5:09 am

Teachers across the country are taking classroom funding into their own hands.  Some say they’ve been buying school supplies for their classroom for a long time, but, they’re using new tools to fix that problem.

In years past, teachers have been paying for things kids would use in the classroom, like pencils or paper.  Now, they have to pay for things kids need outside of the classroom, like food and clothing.

“A few years ago, when I was a full-time teacher, there was an urgent need at one of our title one schools for snow boots.  We had a huge population of kids that were coming to school when there was snow on the ground, and they didn’t have snow boots,” says Utah Education Association President Heidi Matthews.

The UEA praises recent legislative changes that provided more consistent ongoing money, which Matthews says is a step in the right direction.  However, she believes it’s not enough.  Luckily, there are many groups coming forward to fill the gaps.

Matthews says, “We have partners like the United Way who give backpacks.  We have churches that provide back to school basics and taking kids shopping.”

A relatively new social media group designed to help teachers is gaining popularity from all over the country.  The group “Support A Teacher” has members from California to Florida.  Founder Courtney Jones says she started it as a way for teachers to receive inspiring messages from people who support them.

“Often, it’s a lonely profession and I wanted to explain to teachers and have a ‘pay it forward’ campaign where we could support each other in ways that we might not be supported at our individual schools,” Jones says.

Since then, Jones says they’ve added options that allow people to donate funds or send gifts to teachers.  If people choose to donate through DonorsChoose, Jones says they can direct the money exactly where they want it to go.

She says, “You can fund a particular project by a particular teacher.  You can also search your state and you can go farther than that.  You could search for Utah and then a certain city or county, or a certain subject.”

Jones says their group even has members from Canada, The United Kingdom and Mexico who all say teachers are facing the same kinds of funding issues all over the world.

Today’s Top Stories


Utah's Hogle Zoo welcomes a new red panda, Priya, to its Asian Highlands exhibit. Photo credit: Uta...
Devin Oldroyd

Hogle Zoo welcomes new Red Panda in effort to conserve the species

Utah's Hogle Zoo welcomes a new red panda, Priya, to its Asian Highlands exhibit. It hopes to breed her with Mow Mow, a red panda currently living there.
2 days ago
USU Aviation The Utah State University Utah Women & Leadership Project (UWLP) created a series of r...
Michele Rowe

Flight instructor, student, die in crash of USU Aviation plane

Officials said a teacher and student affiliated with USU aviation were killed in a plane crash near Wellsville.
8 days ago
USU Aviation The Utah State University Utah Women & Leadership Project (UWLP) created a series of r...
Waverly Golden

Utah State University reports on Latina women’s status in Utah

The Utah State University Utah Women & Leadership Project researched disparities between Latina Women and all women in Utah.
16 days ago
Utah Valley University March 23, 2020.  (Gabriel Mayberry/ UVU Marketing)...
Martha Harris

Utah adults struggling in their civics knowledge, a UVU study said

Utah adults get an almost failing grade in their civics knowledge, according to a study from Utah Valley University.
24 days ago
The Utah State Board of Education building. Utah schools give out a risk prevention survey every tw...
Aimee Cobabe

Utah State Board of Education drops support for risk prevention survey

Utah schools have given kids a health and risk prevention survey since 2003, but the State Board of Education recently pulled its support for the survey.
24 days ago
utah student achievement COVID-19...
Simone Seikaly

Utah student performance knocked down during COVID-19 restrictions

A review of multiple Utah student performance exams found "significant impacts" in mathematics achievement across grades.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Teachers taking more steps to help other teachers