Casino Donates School Supplies to Desert Teachers
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
COACHELLA - It’s back to school time and many desert teachers say they are spending more and more of their own money when it comes to providing materials for students. "I usually spend an average of $1,000 to $2,000 a year,” says 4th grade teacher Deanna Dreweatt who teaches at John Adams Elementary. "I buy supplies and then, of course, if I have students who don't have supplies when they come to school, I provide them with the supplies,” says 3rd grade teacher at Dr. Carreon Academy Allison Hualde.
For a third year, the Augustine Casino in Coachella asked guests of the casino to donate school supplies for the entire month of August. Then they ask the teachers to sign up for a players card to be in a drawing for an iPad, plus they get a bag full of school supplies which contain pencils, paper, staplers, glue and much more. "We're in a location where we’re close to schools. We feel the teachers pain when it comes to going out and purchasing supplies. We've been hearing how the districts just don’t have the money,” says Marketing Director for the Augustine Casino Maria Canchola.
It's a tough job teachers say, but they love it. "Everything in this bag will be given to a child in my class who needs it. Not all the kids can afford a new backpack and other school supplies,” says Dreweatt. "The schools just don’t have the money so it's up to the teachers to buy reading books for the kids. If the kids don't have the money to buy the books then the teachers will either loan them out or buy them and give them as a gift,” says Hualde.
The casino says they want to engage with the teachers and be part of the community. "They're our neighbors, they're our family. They come here to eat and to play so we want to make sure we take care of them when we can and as much as we can,” says Canchola. These teachers appreciate the bag of free goodies and say they’re wallets definitely appreciate it. "You know, you spend it throughout the year so it doesn't seem like that much but it really does add up,” says Dreweatt. And Hualde can’t help but laugh at one last thought. "Plus, teachers love free stuff, so we come for that reason too,” says Hualde.