Free teacher resource center opens on Avalon Drive
SALISBURY — Teachers can end up paying more than $1,000 a year on school supplies for their students, according to the Education Market Association.
Rakiyah Reeves thinks it shouldn’t be that way.
“It’s a blessing when teachers use $500 to $2,000 of their own income to support kids’ academic endeavors,” Reeves said. “However, they shouldn’t have to. We should be able to come together as a community to help them.”
Reeves is the founder of Kid 101 Teacher Resource Center, which opened April 1 in Avalon Square shopping center.
The resource center offers free school supplies to teachers who work at Title I schools, or schools that have a high percentage of students from low-income families.
“Sometimes, because of poverty, kids don’t come with the tools they need to learn,” Reeves said.
According to 2018 county health rankings, 26 percent of children in Rowan County live in poverty, compared to 22 percent statewide.
“We equip teachers and empower students. And we do that through a shopping experience,” Reeves said.
Reeves said the store is a teacher resource center and, therefore, won’t be open to students for shopping. But she said she does encourage students, as well as current and former teachers, to volunteer at the store.
“I want them to share the experience,” Reeves said.
Reeves said she is following a model that has been successful in 40 cities across the country through the Kids in Need Foundation.
She plans to apply for affiliate status with the foundation as soon as she’s able, which will be after her program has existed for three months.
The only other Kids in Need National Network of Resource Center location in the state is in Charlotte and is called Classroom Central.
Reeves said her goal for the store is to get individuals, nonprofit groups, businesses and foundations to donate supplies.
“I had a young lady come by who left the teaching field and went into a corporate job, but she gave me donations of what she was using in her room,” Reeves said. “So that’s another way teachers who are retired, exiting the education arena, if they want to come and donate, they can come visit the store and see what they can do to help.”
Reeves said she is also hoping to get organizations to sponsor shelves in the store or donate surplus supplies.
“Maybe a church, civic organization, Rotary Club, Lions Club. Anybody who wants to support teachers,” Reeves said.
She said she is particularly in need of paper, pencils, notebooks, crayons and scissors.
If you have questions or want to donate, contact Reeves at 704-273-0511 or email@example.com.
Kids 101 Teacher Resource Center is at 112-F Avalon Drive.
Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.
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