AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — A local business is giving back this school year, clearing the supply lists of four area teachers before they head back into the classroom.
Attorney Dean Boyd said they started the giveaway with the idea of helping teachers, but ultimately the law firm chose four teachers and cleared their lists.
One of those teachers was TLC Special Education Teacher in Canyon ISD, Jen Smith.
“It was like winning the lottery. So Dean Boyd, I was on Facebook, and you know, just doing that summer scroll and I saw that I was selected as their, one of the clear the list winners and I still had a lot on my list,” Smith said. “So it was just definitely a blessing.”
Smith said each year, supplies for classrooms can cost thousands of dollars for teachers, counselors, and other employees—out of their own pockets.
“The world we live in right now, teachers find the burden of having to buy their own supplies and so what has become popular in the last couple of years is doing wish lists on Amazon,” she said. “We’ve been real lucky to, you know, get the word out because of social media, and teachers are being able to refill some of their school supplies without having the burden of paying for all of that with their salary.”
Boyd said he, his wife, and employees wanted to contribute to the community.
“It’s so frustrating that someone who doesn’t get paid that much, is expected to spend thousands of dollars of their own personal money and this is their personal after-tax money, paying to create a positive learning environment for their kids,” Boyd said. “…”Just doesn’t seem right and so we thought, you know, maybe we could make a little bit of a difference.”
For Smith and her students, it makes all the difference.
“One of the things that I was really excited to get when Dean Boyd, when I won this contest was some life skill toys, like…there’s a play washer and dryer and so with my sped kids we’re able to, like integrate life skills and they get to practice with a play washing machine,” Smith added.” And those are things that you don’t think of when you think of a school budget. It doesn’t cover things like that.”
Smith also encouraged others to help teachers clear their lists if they have the means.
“There’s nothing better that you can do at this time of year than just to buy, even if it’s just a set of markers, or just some six or $7 little item, that’s going to help the teacher immensely.”