Suffolk teachers ‘shop’ for school supplies monthly – at no cost to them

SUFFOLK, Va. - A new "teacher supply store" is helping Suffolk teachers stock their classrooms without bottoming their wallets.

Thanks to donations, teachers at SPS can now "shop" for school supplies without spending their own money on such items. Each teacher can visit the supply store once a month without having to pay for the supplies they pick up.

This store is a partnership between Suffolk Public Schools and the Suffolk Education Foundation, and donations are being collected at the former Driver Elementary School location.

Suffolk Public Schools acknowledge about 94% of teachers spend their own money on school supplies; many spend about $400 yearly. SPS spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw said this supply store will help cut those costs yet keep classrooms stocked.

Teachers can shop one Thursday per month from 2:30-6 p.m. at the former Driver Elementary School location. Teachers are allotted points per month to use at the store.

“We want to show our teachers how much we appreciate what they do to help our students,” said Deran Whitney, Ed.D, Superintendent of Suffolk Public Schools.

Old Dominion University and VDOT have made sizable donations already. According to SPS, ODU donated 1,000 books to the teacher supply store. Donations will keep the store open, Bradshaw wrote in a press release.

For businesses wishing to make a donation, email Bethanne Bradshaw or visit the division's website.