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CCSD teachers get help buying supplies for low-income students

Posted at 5:45 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 23:07:31-04
Parents are getting ready to send their kids back to school soon, but so many families struggle to buy school supplies. 
Often times teachers step up and buy them with their own money.
Our 13 Action News crew spoke with several Clark County School District teachers going above and beyond the call of duty.
They say back to school shopping isn't always a quick run to the store. Teacher Elizabeth Alvarez says it's an emotional experience because she's not just buying supplies for her kids at home.
"I've had students who have lived in their cars before,” said Alvarez. “They don't have supplies, and I have three little ones so just to imagine that my kids could go through."
Some teachers say they've taught classrooms where nearly half of the students start the school year without enough supplies.
"The kids in my area,” said Irene Acosta, “They just can't afford it."
Some say they've spent up to $400 on supplies in the past.
"I even go to the back-to-school fairs to get as much supplies as I can," said Acosta.
Dr. Warren Volker, the CEO of WellHealth Quality Care, saw the struggle. He used a CCSD health insurance event to hold a raffle, drawing the names of 16 lucky teachers who were awarded Office Depot gift cards worth $500.
This year, those teachers won't have to break the bank so their students can have the basics.
"You don't tell them oh I bought this for you because you don't have something,” said Alvarez. “You just let them know that they are special and that they deserve this."
CCSD gives teachers a $200 stipend at the beginning of the year to help purchase supplies for students who can't afford them.
"They are supplying stuff for us,” said Alvarez. “They need to supply more.”
The teachers we spoke with today say it’s all about showing kids they are not alone.