Read about our recent changes: teachers can shop every month and our new scanner system allows for a simplified and streamlined shopping experience for volunteers and teachers. To date we have supported 1,433 and we are on track to double that number.
Huntsville, AL November 2021 – With the launch of Alabama’s Teacher Appreciation Week from November 15-21, Free 2 Teach is excited to extend an invitation to local media to come for an Open House during our Thursday afternoon shop this week to see how Free 2 Teach is giving more than ever to teachers not just this week, but all year long. With doors open from July through May, Free 2 Teach is a community supported, volunteer driven organization with a small staff who are on a mission: make Madison County an awesome place to teach, live and learn.
“Our goal at Free 2 Teach is to empower teachers and equip children,” says Executive Director, Alison Kling. “We believe that a teacher should not have to spend out of pocket for supplies for their classroom; for Free 2 Teach, every week is Teacher Appreciation Week! We love teachers and our volunteers, staff and donors show that love by giving their time, energy and resources to ensure our educators have support and that students do not have to go without.”
Free 2 Teach shifted its shopping policies in October in response to a growing need they were seeing across the community. Teachers can now shop every month at the free supply store, rather than every other month. Additionally, the organization worked with a software developer who created a new teacher check-in and check-out system with inventory barcode scanners. This makes shopping even easier for teachers and for volunteers.
“My heart is warmed when a teacher is excited to have found the materials they need for that special project that otherwise would have been skipped or broken their bank account,” says Free 2 Teach volunteer Renee Gardiner. “The thrill of a brand-new teacher walking into Free 2 Teach for the first time – it’s like a child in a toy store at Christmas.”
Since July 1 of this year, Free 2 Teach has already broken its record over previous years: supporting 1,433 shops, opening its doors to teachers from 83 schools in Madison County’s three public school systems, and giving away $796.743.00 in free resources. There are still many months ahead for teachers to shop this school year. To date, the organization has given away over $8 million in its ten-year history.
“Because of Free 2 Teach, there is never a question about my students having supplies,” says science teacher Mylina Dillard. “No one has to ask for pencils, new students can be supplied on the first day they come to school and students don’t have to be embarrassed if they don’t have what they need. Free 2 Teach provides so much and takes the pressure off of me, my parents, and my students.”
“We are very thankful for our teachers and for the support of our community of donors and volunteers. We can’t do this alone: there are so many ways to say thank you to teachers including volunteering with us here at the store, switching your Redstone Debit Card to a Free 2 Teach Debit Card, becoming a monthly supporter with as little as $5 a month, or making an end-of-year gift toward our efforts,” says Kling. For more information and to get involved, head to www.free-2-teach.org.
Please join us on Thursday, November 18 between 3:15-5:15 to tour the store while teachers shop. This is a great way to see the supplies that teachers are getting, for free, and see first-hand our new teacher inventory and check-in systems.
About Free 2 Teach:
Free 2 Teach is an education nonprofit in Huntsville, Alabama that supports public school children by providing free supplies to public school teachers from Huntsville City, Madison County and Madison City School systems. Free 2 Teach was founded in 2011 and has since given away over $8 million in supplies, impacting thousands of children and classrooms. To learn more about Free 2 Teach go to www.free-2-teach.org.