Metro Atlanta school gets free school supplies for classrooms

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) -A Metro Atlanta charter school was given free school supplies Friday to help alleviate how much teachers spend out of their own pockets.

“I feel like whatever my students need, it’s kind of on me. As a teacher, I want to make sure they’re provided with everything they need, all the resources to get the job done,” said Tiarrea Gasqe, a math and science teacher at Centennial Academy.

That’s the sentiment of a lot of teachers. In fact, the National Education Association says over 90% of teachers buy their school supplies., spending $500 on average.

“I have to spend a lot. Maybe, roughly around maybe $200 for school supplies,” said Gasqe.

That’s what brought Kimball International, in partnership with the Kids in Need Foundation, to Centennial Academy in Downtown Atlanta.

“We feel that teachers already give so much of their time and energy, that they should not have to supply their classroom,” said Kathy Herndon with Kimball International.

The group gave classrooms boxes full of supplies, like pencils and art supplies.

“It’s amazing. I wish it could happen all the time, so I’m just grateful for whatever I can get,” said Gasqe.

The Kids in Need Foundation selects schools that are under-resourced and have a high population of students that qualify for free and reduced meals. They pick a strategic time in the school year to give out supplies.

“So in the start of the school year, there are a lot of other community organizations or parents even band together and have school supply drives to supply schools with what they need, it’s often the back half of the school year where they run out of the supplies and nobody’s doing that. That’s where kids in need foundation and their halftime program is so critical,” said Herndon.

Last year, Kids in Need gave out over $160 million worth of school supplies at over 13,000 schools

Madeline Montgomery

Madeline Montgomery

Madeline Montgomery is a reporter on Atlanta News First, covering the morning news Saturdays through Wednesdays.