We’re Celebrating 20 Years of Empowering Teachers With Needed Classroom Supplies

AdoptAClassroom.org is excited to announce our 20th anniversary!

In 1998, AdoptAClassroom.org was founded to support the dedicated teachers who spend money out of their own pockets on classroom supplies. Over the past 20 years, corporate partners, small businesses, and individual donors have teamed up with our nonprofit to make a huge impact on classrooms in need of funding.

The Challenge Continues

While we’re proud to have helped tens of thousands of the teachers who crowdfund with us, we understand that shrinking classroom budgets and teachers’ out-of-pocket spending isn’t going away anytime soon.

In the U.S. Department of Education’s 1998 book “What to Expect Your First Year of Teaching,” author Amy DePaul writes about the challenges teachers encounter. The challenges discussed in the book are just as relevant today as they were 20 years ago.

Teacher Spending

“Teachers spoke of demoralizing budget cuts and spending several hundred to over $1,000 of their own money to buy the books and other supplies they so desperately needed,” DePaul wrote.

Twenty years later, the burden teachers’ face remains unchanged. The average U.S. teacher spends $600 of their own money each year on classroom supplies, and 20 percent spend more than $1,000.


Seating Shortage

DePaul notes that “class size remains a vexing issue,” and uses 7th grade teacher Katharine Hager as an example. “I have 38 kids and 34 desks. I hope they don’t all show up for school,” Hager said.

Last year, 7th grade history teacher Mark Westpfahl faced the same seating issue before he raised $3,500 on AdoptAClassroom.org to purchase furniture for his classroom.

“Right now, my largest class has 38 kids but I only have 36 desks. One of our students sits on the counter space in the classroom every day,”  Westpfahl said.

Looking Ahead to the Next 20 Years

As long as teachers and their students are in need of classroom materials, AdoptAClassroom.org will continue to extend them a helping hand. While we’ve provided support for nearly 170,000 classrooms since 1998, we’re ready to kick off the next 20 years, confident that with help from our supporters, we will make an even bigger impact for teachers in need.

The AdoptAClassroom.org team wants to give a big thank you to everyone who has helped us support teachers across the country. We hope our amazing community of teachers and donors will continue to join us in raising a hand for education in the 20 years to come.