Local teachers getting free supplies through viral Facebook campaign

Back to School

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Teachers across the Midstate are participating in a viral trend called #clearthelist. It’s a nationwide effort to get school supplies for the classroom.

“My first package actually arrived. It says ‘happy school year.’ All the gifts are all on Amazon because it’s a wishlist,” Susquenita Elementary School teacher Sabrina Garnett said.

Garnett received new markers and glue sticks for her third-grade classroom thanks to a former coworker.

“There was a Facebook group, Support Pennsylvania Teachers, so I joined that and we started supporting each other. It was a way to help furnish my classroom, get supplies that I needed for my children,” Garnett said.

A teacher in Texas started the trend about a month ago and it’s since gone viral, with teachers using the hashtag #clearthelist.

“On Facebook, Twitter. Celebrities are involved, making huge donations, retweeting,” said Steelton-Highspire Elementary teacher Jessica Cree.

Cree says the district does give them basic supplies and parents also contribute.

“While those do last, you know, things get lost, things get misplaced, and we don’t want to have to constantly tap into parents that may have limited resources,” Cree said.

“You know, a dollar here, a dollar there, but over time, that starts adding up,” Garnett said.

“I’ve spent thousands of dollars over the past four years. I don’t mind doing it, but it does take its toll. I’m a single parent,” Cree said.

The lists include everything from sticky notes and pencil sharpeners to games and books.

“There’s no local library in our community, and we want our children to have the same access to books that all students around get,” Steelton-Highspire Elementary teacher Tiffany Dawson said.

“It’s nice to personalize the classroom, too. For them to feel comfortable in a nice warm environment just makes it all the better,” Steelton-Highspire Elementary teacher Abby Howard said.

These teachers hope others help them out by searching #clearthelist on social media, for the benefit of their students in the fall.

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