The organization Material for the Arts (MFTA) has found a way to make back-to-school shopping a little less stressful for teachers. Their warehouse in Queens is full of more than 40 aisles worth of school supplies for New York City teachers to pick up for free, QNS reports.
MFTA, operated by New York’s Department of Cultural Affairs, provides free materials to teachers year-round. In the weeks leading up to the new school year things get especially hectic, with a Back-to-School Shopping Spree held between August 22 and September 29.
Each year the program collects approximately 1.5 million pounds of supplies, ranging from binders to desk chairs. They also receive an array of art materials like beads and scraps of fabric. In 2015 they received sand that had been featured in Anne Hathaway’s Broadway show Grounded. Other donors have included Marc Jacobs, Poppin Office Supplies, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Ensuring their classrooms have adequate resources is a struggle many teachers face when September rolls around. According to a 2013 survey from the Education Market Association, teachers pay nearly $1000 out-of-pocket each year on school supplies. Fortunately, New York City isn’t the only part of the country where teachers can find support. The Supply Zone in Brevard County, Florida just held an annual supply drive, and the Baltimore County Public School System encourages local businesses to donate through their Back to School Involves You, Too! campaign. Teachers working for a New York City public school can make an appointment to pick up supplies from MFTA on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
All images courtesy of Instagram.
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