I spent nine years teaching public school. First as a middle school English teacher (yes, I actually like that age!), later as a high school English teacher, and finally as a special education teacher for gifted and talented students, third grade through high school seniors. Even though I love what I’m doing now, each year I get a bit wistful that I’ve left that chapter behind, because there’s nothing like a fresh new school year. It’s the beginning of a journey with new faces, new personalities, new challenges, and new joys.

Preparing a classroom for incoming students was a cherished ritual for me. Beginning in July, I would scour Target, Ikea, and the occasional thrift store for great deals on decor that I hoped my students would find welcoming and warm, with maybe a little dash of funky. I could be more daring in my classroom decorations than I ever would at home. A lava lamp? Oh yeah. A bold geometric rug? Absolutely. KC Royals bobbleheads? In my opinion, no classroom would be complete without at least one of those. And don’t even talk to me about bulletin boards! They were both the bane of my existence because I really didn’t enjoy making them, and the best way to spruce up a drab, institutional classroom.

You may have heard this statistic, but teachers in the U.S. spend an average of $480 out of pocket each and every year for classroom supplies. Sometimes it’s on decor, but most often it is on tissues, extra pencils and paper, and hand sanitizer. Our teachers in India just don’t have this option. There simply isn’t room in their shoestring budgets.

Our Good Shepherd schools rely on people like you to provide everything our teachers and students need for a successful school year. Child sponsorship donations support the basics, but a well-rounded education includes “extras” like cricket bats and balls, plenty of chalk, and craft supplies.

Will you chip in where our teachers can’t? Will you purchase some supplies today? Or will you go big and support a teacher for an entire month?

We want kids to Get Schooled and have the best year ever. You can make a big difference for so little. Please give a gift today.