ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — It takes a lot of effort for a teacher to run a classroom, and often, a lot of money. 

The Escambia County Public Schools Foundation is trying to change that. That’s why they’re partnering with ECPS Central Warehouse to start their “Tools for Teachers” program, which is an online teacher resource store.

“When I surveyed the teachers they said that more than half of them spend over $500 a year on their classroom, and probably 20% of them said they spend upwards of $1,000 of their own money on their classrooms,” Escambia County Public Schools Foundation Executive Director Jo McArthur said.

Supplies were already given out to new teachers in the district, but soon teachers will be able to order supplies online, which will get sent right to them.

“It just makes me feel better prepared,” Brentwood Elementary School third-grade teacher Denise Rodriguez. “We were already running low and markers, and now I got a whole new supply of markers, so that was helpful. I didn’t have to go out and buy that myself, so I really appreciated that it was just sent to my door, and I already had it in my room with me.” 

They hope to have the online store running for teachers in “high need” schools second semester, and available for all 2,700 teachers by next school year. 

“For those teachers to be shelling out almost a thousand dollars a year, that’s other stuff they could be putting towards groceries in their own home or their own bills,” ECPS Warehouse Operations Director David Gardner said. “So hopefully this goes a long way, and as we continue to grow it to all 2,700 teachers in Escambia County Public Schools, that it will make a massive difference for everyone involved.”

They say the launch of program was made possible, in part, by a $50,000 donation from a local business man who wishes to remain anonymous.  

Donations to the program can be made here.