Moms create school supply closet so teachers don't have to spend own money

FRESNO, Texas (KTRK) -- Every year, some teachers are opening up their wallets and spending, sometimes, hundreds of dollars to help re-stock their classrooms.

"Roughly $300 to $500 a year and maybe that's just at the beginning of the year," said Bianca Pesoli, an ESL specialist at Walter Moses Burton Elementary in Fresno.

But this year will be different.

A closet stuffed with markers, glue, tissues and highlighters will be available for all teachers thanks to an idea that was crafted by two moms.

"We wanted to do something to honor (the teachers) and help them so they're not spending money," said Orjanel Lewis, a parent of a first grade student.

Lewis' daughter was having a playdate with a classmate and both moms started to throw out ideas of how they could support the teachers after a very challenging school year during the pandemic.

After putting some of their own money together, they bought some school supplies with the intention of creating a teacher supply closet.

"We are givers," said Kelsey Folmar, a parent and president of the school's parent teacher organization. "This is our legacy, giving and thinking of others and teaching our children kindness and love."

The moms shared their idea with more people and started to see more donations come in. So far, the closet has accumulated about $550 in donations and the PTO would like to keep the closet fully stocked the entire school year.

Some students show up to class on the first day with nothing and these free supplies really help teachers ensure every child is prepared.

"It's one thing off the checklist that you don't have to worry about because it's right there for you," said Lacey Butler, a first grade teacher. "It lightens the load."

For more information or to make a donation, contact burtonespto@gmail.com.

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