Local Teachers Receive A Helping Hand

Local Teachers Receive A Helping Hand

CREATED Jul 31, 2013

 SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. -  On average a teacher spend $350 out of their own pockets for classroom supplies.

In a time when we school district are making cuts, which includes teachers' salaries, these efforts are getting tough.

Just as Springfield Middle School students enjoy the final days of summer, teacher Sharon Hargraves has spent the past week preparing her class for the first day of school.

Like many teachers, Mrs. Hargraves spends money out of own pocket to make sure her students excel. Tuesday she bought $69 in supplies.

 "If you're going to have your room the way you want it to make it the way you think they need to have it (to learn), you're going to do it," said Hargraves. "You got buy chairs at Lowe's, you go buy cubbies to put things in, you buy fabric to cover things with; you just do what you need to do."

For the first time in nearly 20 years teaching in Springfield, last year Mrs. Hargraves was given a helping hand through a program called Adopt A Teacher.

"She gave me a list of about 30 books and we went beyond that. We delivered 127 books," said Bettye Lynn Richert, banking officer with Commerce Union Bank in Springfield.

Commerce Union Bank adopted Mrs. Hargraves class last year and it's back again for the 2013 – 2014 school year.

"They came in with boxes of books and they came in during class and the children were just overwhelmed," said Mrs. Hargraves.

This partnership is not just about giving money for supplies, but building a relationship that involves visits to the school, greeting days where they greet the students as they enter the school and visits to the bank for students.

"We got as much out of it as much as the children got out of it. We wanted to be the givers, but we felt like we received as much as they received," said Richert.

Hargraves says, "It wasn't just stuff, they felt important; they felt like someone out there cared."

In a time schools face so many cuts, Hargraves says it's good to add something to build on the future because, "what's in these halls are the future of our community."

The Adopt A Teacher program is currently only at Springfield Middle School and all 43 teachers and 3 administrators have been adopted.

If you would like to know more about how you can help with Adopt A Teacher in Springfield, contact Kathy Gunn at kgunn@robertsonchamber.org