BRYAN, Texas — School will soon be back in session and that means making sure students have the supplies they need to succeed.
It can be costly for teachers and low-income families to keep up with the growing need for supplies.
Junior League Bryan-College Station is teaming up with the community to help ease the burden of back-to-school shopping.
It is common for teachers to use their own money to get supplies. First-year teachers especially tend to spend the most money on getting the classroom prepared.
Samantha Sievenaller, a 3rd-grade teacher, said she relates to the financial strain teachers face when getting materials prepared for their classrooms.
“It’s hard enough for me to pay for it ... [and] to ask other people is a little bit challenging,” said Siebenaller.
Siebenaller said she spent nearly a thousand dollars in her first year of teaching and appreciates all of the help she can get.
The educator recommends creating Amazon wish lists to receive assistance. Additionally, organizations like Stuff the Bus have had a mission like this for years.
“We started Stuff the Bus in 2010 … and it’s grown," said Angela Kobos, president of the Bryan College Station Junior League. "We start with just first through fifth graders."
The program now reaches students from kindergarten to eighth grade and its goal is to eventually reach students at the senior level in the future.
“I didn’t realize the severity of this issue and the amount of money that comes out of teachers' paychecks to supply their kids with certain things," said Siebenaller. “Community members like parents, and people that may not even have students in the school district, they’re very willing to help teachers and they’re very supportive of us as teachers."
Kobos said that Stuff the Bus is their biggest fundraiser of the year and a lot of planning goes into it annually.
"We fund-raised this past year, and we were able to purchase $115,000 worth of school supplies for both Bryan ISD and College Station ISD," said Kobos. "So we take the number of students that qualify for free and reduce lunch every day and then we purchase those school supplies in advance.”
There are several ways the Brazos Valley is helping contribute to the mission of Stuff the Bus. These donations make it possible for students to have a successful year and show the teachers that there are many helping hands in the community.
If you have any questions about being a potential partner for Stuff the Bus, you can email email@example.com.
You can also email any questions you might have about the organization.