Winona Clear the List

It’s no secret that teachers spend a lot of their own money on classroom supplies, but this year a fundraising campaign has people helping teachers do their back-to-school shopping.

The viral #ClearTheLists campaign has popped up as a way for donors to help pay for items on a teacher’s Amazon.com wish list.

Educators from across the country are putting together a virtual shopping cart of items ranging from traditional classroom supplies to items to help incentivize students and tools for nontraditional learning opportunities.

A Facebook group has been created to help teachers and donors find lists locally.

The group “Texas Teachers Amazon Gifting: East Texas” has about 200 members so far and is growing.

One Tyler ISD Gifted and Talented teacher is looking for help with STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) toys and teaching materials. 

Many districts give teachers allotments for classroom items, or have supply rooms but they typically only cover necessities.

Winona ISD District Librarian Connie Greer has a wish list that, if fulfilled, would help modernize the district’s campus libraries.

“I want to bring back the joy in reading,” she said.

In addition to equipping the library with devices for e-books, Greer also hopes to put together makerspaces for the students, with 3D printers, green screens and more.

“I’m trying to bring all three libraries into the 21st century,” she said. “Libraries aren’t just books anymore.”

Greer said she has funding for books, but the equipment to teach students about the technology that exists is outside of what a school can normally fund.

Other local lists include a life skills teacher setting up her classroom for the first time as she begins her teaching career and a teacher asking for help with pet items for the class bearded dragon, Princess Buttercup.

To find other wishlists, just search the hashtag #ClearTheLists on Facebook and Twitter.

Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.

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