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The new place for teachers to get free supplies in Forsyth County
07212020 Teacher Exchange 1
Current and former educators, nonprofit leaders, business members, and community members came together Monday, July 20, 2020, to celebrate the Teacher Reuse Exchange. Pictured are Forsyth County Board of Education candidate-elect Lindsey Adams (from left), Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board Carter Patterson, Christine Murphy, Literacy Forsyth executive director Kerry Carithers, Marilene Cunningham, Denise Webb, Lisa Lafayette, Forsyth County Schools communications facilitator Hannah Samples, Keep Forsyth County Beautiful's Crystal Johnson, Hadley Bates, and Margot Murphy.

Current and former educators, nonprofit leaders, business members, and community members came together Monday, July 20 to celebrate the Teacher Reuse Exchange (TRE). 

“Once upon a time there were two women, one was named Denise Carleton and the other was named Lisa LaFayette. They met at Daves Creek Elementary in 2005 as members of the PTA Environmental Committee,” said Lindsey Adams, candidate-elect for the Forsyth County Board of Education, who is also a TRE Steering Committee member. “Together they planned a teacher event called ‘Trash to Treasure.' Every teacher in the school was asked to put their unwanted classroom clean-outs into containers. The containers were then organized neatly into bins. 

"Teachers were asked to look through every bin to see if they wanted to take any materials to use in their own classrooms. Items that weren't selected were donated to thrift shops or recycled. At the end of ‘Trash to Treasure’ everyone was so impressed by the amount of items that were able to be used rather than thrown away.” 

The TRE will open its doors to Forsyth County teachers on Wednesday, July 23, at 763 Peachtree Parkway, Unit 4, in the Brannon Office Park. 

The mission of the TRE is to enable educators – public, private, and home school – to have access to free materials for classroom use, while promoting an ethic of conservation and reuse of valuable reusable resources.

The TRE comes just in time for the reopening of Forsyth County Schools on Aug. 6, during the COVID-19 pandemic, which will undoubtedly have an impact on what teachers and their families can afford to spend on classroom supplies. School PTO/PTA budgets are sure to be cut due to COVID-19 financial strains on parents. Disadvantaged students will become even more so if they lack the necessary supplies to learn. The TRE hopes to ease these strains by providing free supplies and resources for teachers to teach and students to learn.

“Having just a small percentage of the employees in our school district take advantage of the Teacher Reuse Exchange will result in teacher savings in excess of $100,000," said Christine Murphy, a former teacher, and a TRE Steering Committee member. “Our longer term goal is to have more than half of the 55 schools in our county participate in the Teacher Reuse Exchange.”

Learn more about the Teacher Reuse Exchange of Forsyth County by visiting its website.