POWELL, Tenn. (WATE) — As kids head back to school, teachers face expensive school supplies. So many teachers have created Amazon wish lists to ask the community for support.
An Anderson County Schools teacher jumped at the opportunity to give to other teachers.
“I think for me that’s something that I like to instill in my students is, like, helping when you can. Paying it forward,” said Shana Readel.
Readel is a fifth-grade teacher at Claxton Elementary School. She created the East Tennessee Teachers #ClearTheList2022 Facebook page.
Teachers working in East Tennessee can request to post their Amazon wish list on the page and people and businesses can donate to the teachers.
In two weeks, it’s increased to more than 500 members.
“I really thought it would stay within my county and my family and friends, and it just snowballed a little bit,” said Readel.
Readel has tracked donations from across the country, and while she’s been impressed by the kindness of strangers, it’s her fellow educators’ generosity that has amazed her.
“When I started seeing other teachers helping, it just really made me so excited about our profession and instilled this confidence in me that this is working and that the teachers are really supporting one another,” said Readel.
First-year teachers and teachers with years of experience are having their lists cleared. Readel added that it’s great to see people support a classroom.
“They are so excited to get these kids in the door, even more than they are now so that they can share these resources and tools,” said Readel.
The East Tennessee Teachers #ClearTheList2022 Facebook page is private. If anyone wants to join, they must request to join the group. Readel and another teacher are responsible for verifying requests and monitoring the page and donations.