Cottrel: Communities answer call to ‘Adopt a Clark County Teacher’

Kenzie Tyson posted this photo of the donated supplies that will help her start her first year of teaching. Submitted

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Kenzie Tyson posted this photo of the donated supplies that will help her start her first year of teaching. Submitted

Last spring an “Adopt a Senior” Facebook page captured the imaginations of Enon and Mad River Twp. residents and encouraged community members to celebrate graduation with local students.

Now as we face the beginning of the school year Heather Stewart-Rigsbee, organizer of the first adopt page, is reminding us that it takes a village to raise a child and to teach one.

“Teaching is tough, in the best of times,” she wrote on the page. “This year will be especially trying as educators are facing so many unknowns, rapidly changing guidelines, adapting classrooms to follow guidelines, planning online instruction, and so much more. They need support!”

“Adopt a Clark County Teacher” is bigger than “Adopt a Senior” was. It includes all teachers in Clark County’s public, and private schools who want to participate. Teachers are invited to post information about themselves and what they need for their classrooms.

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This group's efforts are not meant to replace the district's responsibility to supply its teachers. The goal is to add to the supplies a teacher has on hand and reduce the amount of personal funds they must use.

We all know teachers generally have to buy extra supplies with their own money. After all there is an actual an IRS deduction for out of pocket educational spending, but it isn't nearly enough. This year is even worse with extra cleaning supplies that are needed.

Teachers seeking adoption have made a list of needed supplies on Amazon, and posted a link to it but that is just for reference. Amazon will deliver, but there are other ways including the US mail and in person delivery. Items can be purchased anywhere, especially if you can find them on sale. The requests also include individually wrapped snacks.

Community members, clubs, and businesses from all over the county are then asked to look over the list of teachers who need help, If the spirit moves them, adopting more than one teacher would be awesome.

Even though this group was started only four days ago more than 165 teachers have been adopted. Some have posted thanks and photos of gifts already received. My favorite was the teacher who said her cat also loved the box the items were packed in an included a photo.

Stewart-Rigsbee said that the appreciation is deep and sincere.

“Some said it made them cry. Some said it was like Christmas receiving surprise packages for their classrooms.”

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On Monday there were still 116 teachers requesting adoption and more were signing up by the hour. ( I had to update the numbers before submitting this column.)These teachers were from all parts of Clark County; Park Layne, South Vienna, Springfield City, Northwestern, Rolling Hills, Northeastern, Kenwood, Possum, Perrin Woods, Kenton Ridge, Schaeffer, Horace Mann, Rockway , Greenon, Emmanuel Christian, Roosevelt, Miami View, Snow Hill, Tecumseh, Lincoln, Global STEM Academy, CTC, and more. This truly is an all county effort.

I think the top of each persons list was Clorox wipes and other items to help them keep the learning spaces clean all day long. Looks to me like adopting a teacher is also another way to invest in our children's safety.

Talk about a perfect opportunity for the community to be involved. I've been looking at the adoptions and comments and I see former students signing up to help a favorite teacher or coach. I've seen friends, family, neighbors and former classmates also helping teachers. Sometimes the adoption is by a community minded stranger.

If the list is long, sometimes two people share the purchasing.

Looks to me like this effort might help reduce the burden on parents who often have to bring a huge list of supplies for the year on the first day.

To get involved visit “Adopt a Clark County Teacher” on Facebook. On the left bar click on announcements and be sure to click on “more” because this is a long announcement.

Wouldn't be amazing if students and teachers remember this as their best year ever? It can be if we support our community.

Keep on keeping on.