Prior to the beginning of the school year, the Hall County school system voted to approve giving classroom teachers an additional $50 each to spend on supplies.
That $50 went toward a lesson in imagery for Teresa Haymore’s seventh-grade literature class at Da Vinci Academy.
After spending the funds on a beanbag chair and some books for her classroom’s reading area, she spent the last few dollars on ingredients for a chocolate whipped topping for students to taste and then describe as part of her lesson plan.
“The money, at least for me, was to be able to get some of the extras that you usually have to purchase,” Haymore said.
One of the books she purchased was “Whatever Happened to Janie?,” a sequel to the book “The Face on the Milk Carton.”
“Well, the school bought us ‘The Face on the Milk Carton,’ but the students asked ‘Do you have that sequel?’” she said.
According to a study by the National School Supply and Equipment Association, teachers spent around $485 of their own money on instructional and classroom materials during the 2012-13 school year.
Haymore said she spends around $25 monthly on various supplies for her classes.
“Over the course of the year, $300 or $400,” she said.
Over the summer break, Superintendent Will Schofield and the Board of Education heard requests from some teachers seeking some relief on their pocketbooks.
“Your classroom teachers have been extremely receptive and thankful for the fact that you have heard them,” Schofield said to the board at the Aug. 12 work session.
The total comes to $87,150, coming out of local monies in the general fund, according to Deputy Superintendent Lee Lovett.
The teachers received the shopping bonus Aug. 9, in time for Georgia’s sales tax-free weekend. At the work session, board chairman Nath Morris said he had received several positive comments from teachers.
“We wish we could do more,” Morris said at the meeting. “We hope that helps out a little bit.”
For Haymore, the $50 boost did provide some relief.
“It was so nice to not have to spend my money,” she said. “Because I’m going to spend my money all year long. And that’s OK. I don’t mind. I love my job, and I love these kids. But it was nice to just say, ‘Oh, I can get this chair.’ When I saw it, I thought it’s what I need to finish my little reading place back here.”