The Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) new Teacher Supply Depot officially opened on August 8 with a Back to School Giveaway. More than 800 teachers waited in line for hours for the opportunity to get free school supplies for the coming year.
The Teacher Supply Depot recently relocated from John Gorrie Middle School to the former Lackawanna School at 3108 Lenox Avenue. The Depot is a warehouse of reusable materials donated by businesses and community members. These materials are distributed free to DCPS teachers to enhance instruction in their classroom and promote student achievement.
The depot opened at 9 a.m., but teachers started lining up around 5 a.m. to be near the beginning of the line for the first opportunity to see what was available.
All the donated supplies were organized in 11 rooms throughout the school, including a paper room, arts and crafts room, and rooms that had shelves full of office supplies.
Teachers were able to bring three tote bags to carry their free school supplies. Many took advantage of the opportunity and stuffed each bag to the top.
One teacher in the arts and crafts room included ‘Just Married’ wrapping paper in one of her bags. “You need to be creative and use whatever you can to decorate your classroom,” she said.
Chris Buckley, the on-site manager of the Depot, and Larry McDonald, the director of consolidated services for DCPS, coordinated the efforts of the transition from Gorrie to Lackawanna, supervising hundreds of hours from all the volunteers who contributed to the project.
More than 40 volunteers from the Duval County Council of PTAs/PTSAs were on hand for the opening of the Depot to assist teachers as they moved from room to room. Several volunteers also took care of the loading dock, an area where teachers could drop off their bags of supplies and drive their cars around to have the materials loaded.
Once school starts, the Depot will be open one day each month.
DCPS appreciates the tremendous support from the business community, volunteers, the media and the many other individuals who are contributors to the Teacher Supply Depot.
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