KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- As students head back to school this week, teachers want to make sure their classrooms are stocked and ready for them.
Many teachers, across districts, must pay out of their own pocket each year to get the supplies their students need. Some are now starting online school supply drives through GoFundMe and Amazon.
Teachers say it’s all too common that they dip into their own savings to fully stock their classroom. Some ask for those specialty classroom items, like posters or specific books. Others say they just need help with the basics, like pens and pencils.
Charlotte Gbomina is a Spanish teacher in the North Kansas City District says last year she noticed about half of her students consistently came unprepared to class. She started a GoFundMe this year, so she could help provide for those kids.
"A classroom with nothing up, it’s pretty much a room with four walls so a lot goes into creating an atmosphere where every student feels like they can learn and have the support that they need," she said.
Gbomina says students can focus much better when they have the supplies they need.
“It’s a little stressful for them and for the teacher because like they instead of him getting in the mindset of, ‘OK, I’m going to take in whatever information the teacher has for me.’ It’s like, ‘Oh wait, I need to find a notebook … I need to find a paper that the teacher gave me yesterday, and I’ve lost it,” Gbomina said.
Gbomina raised over $200 this year. That allowed her to buy a folder, notebook and pencil for every single student in her classes.
"I figured providing the materials for them would be a little more low-key low stress for everyone involved so I figured reach out to the universe and have them support me in my endeavors," she said.
Gbomina said she wants to provide instead of require.
"I feel like teachers go above and beyond trying to make their students comfortable in the classroom and so instead of requiring students to bring with they need we usually help out," she said.