Our nation's educators are in need of PPE including disinfecting spray and wipes, hand sanitizer, and masks and face shields.

Whether you're a teacher or parent to little ones, the upcoming school year is sure to present challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that's true regardless of where instruction—either at-home or in the classroom—will take place. Each year, teachers spend hundreds of their own dollars to get their classrooms ready for a new year; to help offset the cost of new school supplies, which will likely be higher than usual this year in order to ensure safe instruction spaces, the ClearTheList foundation allows school faculty and staff to create wish lists of much-needed materials that other teachers, community members, or family and friends can purchase.

School Supplies
Credit: Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty

While most teachers typically request colored pencils, notebooks, Play-Doh, and books, this year's wish lists look a little different. Teachers also have to prepare to have plenty of PPE—including face masks, disinfectant spray and wipes, and hand sanitizer—to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom. "I'm seeing a lot of teachers trying to prepare for several situations," Courtney Jones, an elementary school teacher from Houston, Texas, and the founder of the#CleartheList movement, tells TODAY. "A lot of them are starting in school, so they're trying to prepare for that, but then they are also still trying to prepare for distance learning too because of what happened last spring."

The average teacher spends at least $479 of their own money to stock their classroom, according to data from a National Teacher and Principal Survey, which was conducted by the Department of Education for the 2015-2016 school year. While students often share supplies such as crayons or glue sticks, they may each require their own set of supplies this year due to COVID-19 safety measures, which further increases the cost for parents and teachers.

ClearTheList Foundation recently partnered with Clorox, which donated one million dollars to the cause, and Amazon to raise money for educators. "At Clorox, we understand families and schools are facing an impossible task this year with teachers at the center of helping to navigate the multiple challenges surrounding being prepared for both classroom and remote learning," said Magnus Jonsson, vice president of cleaning at The Clorox Company, in a press release. "Through our donation and partnership with ClearTheList Foundation, we are committed to supporting teachers in their time of distinctive supply needs."

Want to do your part to help? Learn more about how you can donate supplies or money to teachers through the ClearTheList Foundation here.

Comments (1)

Martha Stewart Member
August 18, 2020
This is such a great idea! While many items on my list are a wish, others are a necessity to help teach the kids. Any help is appreciated! https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/NX3PVCDXB1NO?ref_=wl_share