Across the country, education has been hit by major budget cuts, and teachers and students alike are feeling the effects. Teachers are being laid off and others are struggling to keep their classroom a warm and engaging environment.
Many of these teachers are even reaching into their own wallets to buy supplies and decorations for their students. It is a harsh reality for most, but Tonya Mitchell, Stephanie Brown and Kelli West are hoping to ease some of that burden.
An insurance firm by the name of Horace Mann conducted a series of surveys among 1,700 teachers. The surveys covered everything from out-of-pocket expenses to budget cuts and community involvement.
The survey, released in June 2013, revealed that out of teachers who took the survey, 30 percent said that they spent between $201-400 out of pocket for class projects and supplies. More than that, 38 percent said that they actually had to for two or more school projects because of lack of funding. These budgetary issues have caused increased class sizes, fewer new hires and has severely slashed the budget for school supplies.
The need to help teachers with their overages is the reason behind the upcoming Little Paws Arts and Crafts Show. The show will include a wide assortment of artisans from all over North Alabama. Stephanie Brown, co-coordinator of the event, spoke about some of the different types of booths you might see this March.
“Come support our local artisans and help our school at the same time. If you're looking for something unique you'll find it here. We will have Native American Art, woodworkers, painters, jewelry makers, furniture makers, soap makers, rings, crochet and children's clothing,” she said.
“There will be concessions with hamburgers, chicken fingers and much more. We will also have a book nook with gently used books. We are accepting donations. The money raised from Book Nook will help in buying new curtains for the elementary gym.”
The arts show will take place at the Hanceville Rec Center on March 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The show promises to have something for everyone. It will be a great day to pack up the kids and support not only local teachers but also local artists.
These teachers need all the help they can get. Education is one of the most important things we can do for our children, and these educators already go above and beyond the call of duty to help us. The teachers, however, are not the only ones to take a hit, our children do as well. When projects are being cut, the opportunity for learning is being cut as well.