Teachers in the Charlotte area work extremely hard and aren't paid nearly enough.
This is made even worse when they have to spend their hard-earned money on school supplies for their classrooms. And did you know that 1 in 2 children in the service area lives in poverty? That's why NBC Charlotte is teaming up with Classroom Central to make sure teachers in our community can get what they need without paying money out of pocket.
"Classroom Central is an essential thing for teachers in this community," said former teacher Greg Meitus, who serves as marketing director for Classroom Central. "Without it, they'd be spending their own money for supplies in the classroom."
On Tuesday, December 18, the WCNC NBC Charlotte held a day of giving. Employees volunteered at Classroom Central, helping stock shelves, organize supplies and make a difference in our public schools!
A big surprise at Lawrence Orr Elementary School
In addition to volunteers at Classroom Central, employees also spent time with the the Classroom Central Vroom bus at Lawrence Orr Elementary School where teachers stepped outside the school to shop for free school supplies.
WCNC NBC Charlotte and the TEGNA Foundation presented Classroom Central with a $25,000 check.
And there was a big surprise for the Lawrence Orr Elementary School teachers. Sarah French surprised the teachers with a new coffee maker for the teacher break room, a new microwave, a CHOPT gift card and a $100 gift card to Lowe's Home Improvement.
What does Classroom Central Do?
Each year, Classroom Central helps equip local teachers with everything students need to learn by collecting and distributing free school supplies. They serve nearly 200 schools across six districts: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Kannapolis City Schools, Gaston County Schools, Union County Schools, Iredell-Statesville Schools and Lancaster County Schools.
Each year, Classroom Central donates close to $5 million worth of supplies. In the next couple of months, Classroom Central expects to reach the $60 million mark! Every month, teachers in qualifying schools in high-poverty areas are allowed to spend $400 to make sure their kids have what they need to succeed.
On Monday, December 17, Classroom Central gave away more than 30,000 books — valued at $567,000 — to nearly 300 teachers. NBC Charlotte's volunteers will spend Tuesday cleaning those shelves and restocking them so Classroom Central will be ready for teachers who return come January.
How you can help
Classroom Central receives most of its donations during the annual back-to-school campaign. However, when students and teachers return in January, the kids have the same needs as the beginning of the year.
Classroom Central accepts online donations through their Amazon wishlist as well as physical donations at their warehouse at 2116 Wilkinson Boulevard in Charlotte. You can click here for a list of donation guidelines and needed supplies.
You can help restock the shelves by donating online. Through December 31, all donations up to $25,000 will be matched by a generous grant from The Leon Levine Foundation. So if you donate $50, that donation becomes $100 automatically, helping supply twice as many students. Click here to learn more about how you can donate to Classroom Central.
You can also volunteer your time at Classroom Central. Last year, more than 1,700 people donated their time. Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities.
Our station is proud to support the hard-working teachers in our community. We hope you’ll join us so we can give our teachers and students a positive start to the school year.