Teacher Heaven on Earth!

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Imagine a store full of school supplies, art materials, toys, books,DVD’s, computers, printers and more.  Now imagine that everything inside that store was FREE!  

Well guess how lucky I feel every August when I shop in that very store! We are so very blessed, that in Cincinnati we have a teacher free store called Crayons to Computers. Where literally everything from crayons to computers are FREE! How amazing is the person/people who started this place? They recognized the fact that many of our students are needy and can’t afford the basic supplies we ask them to bring. As well as the fact, that we as teachers spend thousands each year on our classrooms. 

Many schools in Cincinnati qualify to shop monthly due to the number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. My school doesn’t qualify, but you can earn a shopping trip by volunteering for 3 hours. Therefore, my sweet teacher friends and I went today and did a little volunteering! 
My adorable friend and former student teacher Maggie. 
So lucky to work with this girl. 
She was slaving away with some stickers today! 
How cute are the girls I work with? Ms. Jen volunteering her heart out. Love her! 
My super sweet teaching partner Becky with her coupon to shop after our 3 hours of chatting and working and chatting some more! 
(The poor guy working with us, seriously had earphones on and a ipod going to tune us out.)

Apparently, there are 42 other stores modeled after Crayons to Computers in the U.S. The amazing part is this store is run entirely with donations from our community! People are so generous.  Below are more pictures of the store and my awesome team! Get ready for picture overload. I can’t wait to shop. I was seriously drooling! 
(Please don’t mind my horrible hair. It’s long overdue for a cut and color. Yes, I’m the only non-blonde.)
Love my teacher friends! 
How fun is this section?
Brand new books!
Glue, tape, ribbon, band aides, and the best magnets you have ever used in your life!
Everything from paint and cardstock to musical greeting cards!
Art supplies? Yes please.
Scrapbook supplies a plenty!
They have every cut out you could ever imagine! An entire wall!
Shape books for every season.
The best thing that ever happened to me! 
New chair pockets every year! 
How lovely are these? 
(Little fact: Guess who sew these? Actually…inmates.  It’s part of a rehabilitation program called Crafts with Conviction)
DVD’s
Containers 
We know how I love containers!
Got Glue? Now you do.
Does anyone remember that show Shop Til You Drop? 
That is seriously what it will be like on August 1st when I go.  I just have to remember my classroom is only so big.  I’ve gotten better at not going overboard, if you consider filling just half of a Tahoe instead of all, not bad.  

Thank you Crayons to Computers. 
We {HEART} You x’s 100!
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Michelle Oakes

Michelle Oakes

Wife, mom of 2 boys and a bulldog, reading specialist, Target frequenting lover of fashion, home decorating, Cincinnati girl.

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51 thoughts on “Teacher Heaven on Earth!”

  1. Certain items do have limit and others are unlimited. It's seriously paradise!
    You do have a checklist and you just write down how many of each you took. Then you check out and they kind of eyeball that you were honest. It's UH-Mazing!

    Reply
  2. OH MY GOODNESS – I'm so flipping excited! I checked and there is an affliate in my town! Out of all of CA- in my little never heard of city- there is one! I squeeled when I saw it!! I'm so excited!!

    ❀ Christine
    {heart} to Reed

    Reply
  3. WOW! My jaw was on my keyboard as I was looking at the pictures! What a wonderful place to have in your community! I bet volunteering is even fun!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  4. In Orange County Florida they have a store like this called A Gift for Teaching. For the past two years I worked in a Title 1 school where 85% of the students were on free or reduced lunch and I got to every month to the store. It was great because my students didn't come with any supplies at all! They also had crafts for conviction and I love those seat covers. We were limited to what we could get and didn't have near as much but it is still a wonderful organization! Good for you for volunteering! I wish I could but they want full time volunteers.

    Reply
  5. Thanks for posting this… I am so excited that I even found an independent store in my state. Woo Hoo! After I finished reading your post, I had to email my colleagues to tell them about it. Of course many of them are not even thinking about school right now but maybe this will change their minds. I love all your pictures too (drool), who knew a store like that really existed in Teacher Land.:)

    Reply
  6. Thank you SO much for posting this! I checked the link and there's an affiliate in ATL… aaaand my new school is on the list of who can shop! Now it seems that I just have to wait for the principal to send them our teacher roster so that I can make an appointment!

    Reply
  7. OMG Jealous! I teach in an inner city myself, and know how hard it is for many of our families to purchase basic back to school supplies. I buy A LOT out of my own pocket every year. This store is seriously a blessing. Did I say I was jealous? I am! But, I'm happy for other dedicated teachers who are fortunate to have access to this wonderful resource.
    ☺ Tanya
    First Grade is Fantabulous!

    Reply
  8. This is just amazing! I have never in my life seen such. Our system attempts to do this, but it is nothing like this. This is better than the big stores or teacher supply stores. Count your blessings!!!!!

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  9. I wish there was one by me! I moved to Florida, but did my internship at Struble Elementary which is on that list of schools. Wish I would have known about that back then!

    Reply
  10. WOW!

    So I'm going to a wedding in Cinci in October…how the heck can I get into that store? Can you go for a discounted price if you're not on the list or something? If so I', bringing an extra suitcase just for school supplies!

    -Rachel
    edlink123.blogspot.com

    Reply
  11. I just looked it up, and we have a place like that here in Nashville. However, it is only for the Metro school teachers- BUT they have a program where you can volunteer and earn a shopping trip. Guess who just signed up to volunteer? Meeeeeee! 🙂
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    +Teaching Happily Ever After
    ~Creative Teaching with a Technology Twist~

    Reply
  12. That is SERIOUSLY AMAZING!!! What a wonderful community you have to show kids and teachers that kind of support! The variety is incredible – I wouldn't even be able to PURCHASE that many different items where I live. Awesome!

    Reply
  13. This is just unreal! It looks like you took pictures in a Walmart! What a HUGE blessing for you! We spend soooo much of our own money on all this stuff! I'm wondering how to go about starting a place like this?

    Reply
  14. Wow! That is incredible. There are two here in Texas–one in Dallas (an hour and a half from me). It's actually with World Vision. But I'm unclear about whether or not you have to teach in a low-income school in Dallas. That's seriously amazing for y'all, though! :o)

    Reply

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