Downtown business owners start teacher supply swap


High School special education instructor Cassie Smith (left) and volunteer Louise Hauck-Chinn (right) are pictured with some of the supplies Smith needs for her classroom students on a daily basis. Humboldt’s Deb Davis and Hauck-Chinn are organizing a Teacher Supply Swap store in a portion of the Uptown Humboldt Mercantile building, 609 Sumner Ave. The store, for teachers only, plans to be open in January. Humboldt Independent photo.

By Kent Thompson
When Deb Davis saw a video on Facebook about a teacher supply swap, she knew she had to get involved. That means starting a Teacher Supply Swap in Humboldt, the first of its kind in the state and only the fourth in the U.S.
The particular episode Davis saw was about Baltimore, MD, teacher Melissa Badeker. She told about spending $1,000 out of her own pocket as a beginning teacher to purchase school supplies and needed items for students in her classroom. After some of the supplies had been used, she would be tasked with the chore of trying to get rid of things of which she no longer had a need.
Badeker thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was a teacher supply location where people could donate items and where teachers could pick up the supplies and use them in their classrooms. Davis agreed and did some research about forming a non-profit organization to make a Teacher Supply Swap happen in Humboldt. She recruited her friend and downtown business owner Louise Hauck-Chinn. It just so happens that Hauck-Chinn was looking a downsizing and selling off much of her merchandise from the Uptown Humboldt Mercantile building at 609 Sumner Ave. That will be going on during a free will garage sale at the store from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, beginning this Friday, Nov. 24, and continuing through Thursday, Nov. 30. The proceeds from the sale will go to stock the new store, which will be in a portion of Hauck-Chinn's mercantile building.
“It’s for the kids. Unfortunately, teachers are not high paying jobs. They do it because they love their work and want to help kids learn. If teachers are willing to spend that much of their own money for school supplies, I think we as a community should be willing to help them out,” Deb Davis said in explaining the project.
The group will accept new and like-new supplies to stock the store, as well as monetary donations.
Supply needs include, but are not limited to:
• Notebooks and notebook paper
• Pencils and pens
• Scissors
• Kleenex
• Markers/crayons
• Dry erase markers and erasers
• Dry erase white boards
• Construction paper
• Glue and glue sticks
• Loose-leaf paper
• Binders
• Trapper keepers
• Post-it notes
• Flash cards
The non-profit organization's goal is to have the store open on selected days and times for teachers by early January. Read more about this story and how you can help in this week's Humboldt Independent. Subscribe by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

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