The PSF-East Chapel Hill Rotary Teacher Supply Store began as an annual event in 2007 and provides teachers with vouchers to “purchase” free school supplies at the beginning of the school year. The supplies are generously provided through a grant from the Teachers First Fund, and a partnership with the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club.
Each year, thousands of dollars of school supplies are set up in a temporary location. Teachers shop “free of charge” using the money provided by their vouchers. Members of the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club and Public School Foundation board members and volunteers set up and staff the store. Teachers identify the items that would be most useful to them in a survey distributed before the end of the school year. It is estimated that nationwide teachers spend approximately $500 each year out of their own pockets to provide items for their classrooms and students. During the past four cycles of the Teacher Supply Store, it is estimated that nearly $100,000 worth of school supplies have been distributed free of charge to Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District teachers.