TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Teachers often have to pay out of pocket to buy school supplies for their classrooms, sometimes totaling hundreds of dollars or more.
“I want my students to have a fun place to look at and things need to feel comfortable to make it feel like home, and so, it just kind of comes with the job,” said Angela Sieminski, a teacher at Harelson Elementary School in Tucson.
Now the community is coming together to make that an easier assignment for Southern Arizona teachers.
Founded in 2008, Tucson Values Teachers has been raising money for teachers to buy school supplies for more than a decade.
In the past TVT has partnered with bigger retail stores for its ‘Tucson Supplies Teachers’ campaign. This year, the organization is giving away $50 gift cards to Jonathan’s Educational Resources, a locally-owned teacher supply store.
Tucson Values Teachers CEO Andy Heinemann says a combination of foundations, businesses and individuals raised $125,000 for the program, allowing 2,500 teachers across Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties to receive a $50 card.
“There were things that I have been wanting to buy for a while, but I spend so much money already, out of my pocket, I kind of put it on hold,” said Zeneida Vaquero, who drove up from Anza Trail School in Sahuarita, where she teaches eighth grade language arts. “We put so much heart into [teaching], we put our families aside sometimes and I just wish …….