VALRICO, Florida – Rebecca McDonagh spends “a good portion” of her paycheck on supplying her classroom at Cimino Elementary in Valrico.
“We are a lot on the dollar tree, we are a lot on target,” she says.
It is not alone. The average teacher spends about $ 500 a year on pens, handkerchiefs, tissues, and more, according to national data.
And this year could be the most expensive for McDonagh so far.
Schooling in the coronavirus era will require more individual care; Children can’t even share pencils anymore.
Teachers of younger students also need “fun incentives” to properly wear the mask and stay safe.
So it’s good that McDonagh has nearly 8,000 guardian angels guarding them.
She was “adopted” by the “Adopt a Hillsborough teacher” Facebook page, a collective of kind people who bought teaching materials for more than 250 local teachers.
In a short period of time, the Facebook group has developed into a phenomenon driven by the empathetic desire to comfort teachers when navigating through one of the most unpredictable school starts in history.
“I feel for her,” says Brooke Elkins, a former educator and one of the leaders of the Facebook group. “I know that there are as many unknowns as they start this school year.”
The “Adoptions” group orchestrates the pairings of teachers who create Amazon wish lists and benefactors.
It was a blessing for the teachers.
McDonagh came home recently and found her veranda full of packages.
“It’s like Christmas in August,” she smiles.