Organization that helps students needs help of its own

By Derrick Rose

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The chopping block in the CMS budget is getting crowded as the district needs to slash $80 million. Several departments could lose funding and some people could lose their jobs.

Six hundred teachers could be laid off and be notified as early as May. In addition to people, transportation, school security and school supplies could also be trimmed.

Supplies may be something many people don't consider when looking at budget issues, but if they are cut in CMS, the effects reach beyond the classroom. "Students need the basics," said Sarah Porter, spokesperson for Classroom Central, an organization that provides free supplies to teachers for their classrooms.

Every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, teachers can come to Classroom Central and grab supplies they need for students at no charge. However, during the recession, Porter said the organization has seen a 25% increase in demand of it's services since 30 additional schools have reached poverty level to qualify for Classroom Central's assistance.

Conversely, donations of supplies have gone down and Porter said volunteers have had to limit the number of supplies teachers are able to walk out of the door with on each visit. Teachers now are having to pull more money out of their own pockets to buy supplies to make sure students have the basic needs.

"One teacher told us that on the first day of school this past year, only 5 of her 18 students showed up with crayons, and in the first grade, you have to have crayons to be able to succeed and do daily assignments," Porter said.

Classroom Central
2116 Wilkinson Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28208

To donate click on the "Classroom Central" link to the right.