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Cincinnati nonprofit gives teachers access to free school supplies for their students

Posted at 1:07 PM, Jun 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-12 20:38:54-04

CINCINNATI -- A local nonprofit wants to make sure teachers have access to the supplies their students need in the classroom.

Cincinnati-based Crayons to Computers donated $9 million worth of school supplies during the 2017-2018 school year.

The organization’s Teacher Free Store allows educators to shop for free supplies like pencils, crayons, glue, notebooks, books, stickers, paint and felt.

Amy Cheney, CEO of Crayons to Computers, said the store is a place where teachers can outfit their classrooms at no cost.

“The more we can help kids to get a good start in life, the better off we all will be,” Cheney said.

Lynnotta Wright knows how valuable Crayons to Computers can be.

Wright, a program director at the Richard E. Lindner YMCA, is working on getting her classroom in the “Step Up to Quality” star rating process.

Janet Baltzersen is Wright’s mentor and the manager of Mount St. Joseph University’s Children's Center. With the help of Baltzersen and Crayons to Computers, Wright is on her way to achieving a star-rated classroom.

“It always looks great to parents to know that their child could go to a center that's step up rated … it shows the level of quality,” Baltzersen said.

Baltzersen has shopped at the store for Wright’s classroom, which helped Wright add reading and writing centers for the children.

“I don't have kids of my own, they're like my own little kids … I would want someone to want my child to have the best future,” Wright said.

The store, located on Tennessee Avenue, is open on weekday afternoons and every other Saturday in August through May. Last school year the store served 13,000 teachers and 155,000 students from over 600 schools across 16 counties.