TORRINGTON – Our heroes on the front lines each day are teachers. They are unheralded and many times receive only a thank you card at the end of the school year.
Meanwhile they are pouring themselves out into their students every day, imparting the knowledge and wisdom that the next generation will have to arm themselves with to survive.
In a moment of inspiration, Torrington native Stacy Dobson Norton came up with an idea to help out our struggling educational efforts in Goshen and Platte counties. She has created a private group website on Facebook where people can join the group and get on board with the effort to help teachers stock their classrooms with much needed supplies that can’t always be purchased due to meager budgets.
According to the website, “Goshen/Platte Counties Supporting our Teachers,” it is a “A place for us to support our fabulous Goshen and Platte County teachers. They put so much of themselves and oftentimes their personal money into purchasing supplies for their classrooms. Oftentimes they don’t have the budget to purchase the things they would love for their classrooms. Let’s send them some love.”
Teachers are encouraged to create a classroom wish list on Amazon and share it on the website. They are also encouraged to teacher friends and community friends.
Community members are encouraged to click on the Amazon lists posted by our teachers and choose a few items from their list. They are also encouraged to add teacher friends and community friends who may be wanting to help local educators.
One of the posts from Torrington English teacher, Emily Cottrell says: “Hello. I am going to say $200 which is my entire budget for the school year, so it’s awesome.”
Post after post is dealing with the philanthropy of the local community and the idea that it’s all about helping the teachers and their kids.
“I have many teacher friends that live back in the Virginia area,” said Stacy Dobson Norton. “About six weeks ago, one of my friends had posted on her Facebook wall that there was a group that she belonged to where teachers were posting their wish lists.”
Parents, friends, and family could go to the wish list and purchase items for the teachers’ classrooms.
“I gladly went and purchased items for my friends and as I perused the Facebook group page, I was amazed at the outpouring of generosity for the teachers in their county,” Norton said. “I began to think about how incredibly giving our community is and thought I would do something similar. I created the Facebook page, contacted a few of the teachers I knew and invited them to get things started by posting a wish list and then inviting other teacher friends to do the same.”
Next was having the teachers invite friends and family to the page. From here it just snowballed. By the end of the first three days, the group had over 20 wish lists posted, and had over 200 members of the group.
“To date, we have 93 teachers with wish lists posted; 652 members” she said. “The community support has been nothing short of amazing. I am still working on getting dollar amounts from teachers on what they have been gifted for their classrooms. With just under half of the teachers reporting back so far (45), they have received approximately $10,755 worth of goodies for their classrooms and students. This has included classroom supplies, classroom décor, learning manipulatives, classroom books, chair covers, science equipment, music supplies, art supplies, classroom management devices–all kinds of wonderful things.”
Norton has set up a nonprofit that will be continuing to solicit donations from businesses around town to continue helping teachers. It is called Everyday Heroes.
Donations can be dropped off at First State Bank or dropped off at our AccuScreen Office, located right across the street from the sale barn in Torrington.