TULSA, Okla. (WSVN) — An elementary school teacher is gaining worldwide fame after she decided to panhandle for money to buy school supplies for her students.
Fox 23 reports that Teresa Danks earns $35,000 a year teaching third grade, and says she spends thousands of her own money on school supplies for her classroom.
“All I want to do is give those kids the best,” Danks told the station. ““I easily pay $2,000, $3,000 out of pocket every year to make it happen for my kids… It all adds up week after week and month after month.”
Danks decided to ask the public for help after she learned lawmakers in Oklahoma were not going to raise wages for educators. The state ranks nearly last in teacher pay compared to other states across the country.
While standing on a street corner with her sign, saying, “Teacher needs school supplies! Anything helps! Thank you!” Danks made $55 in just six minutes. That’s more than double what she makes per hour in the classroom, she says.
Danks said she wants to bring awareness to the budget cut crisis in her state to show how it affects education.
After photos of her efforts went viral, Danks created a GoFundMe page to raise money for other teachers, as well as creating a list of school supplies:
- Egg cartons
- Paper towel/toilet paper rolls
- Old, leftover party paper plates
- Pipe cleaners
- Broken costume jewelry
- Craft wire
- Silk flowers
- Plastic water bottles
- Gallon size plastic jugs
- Sewing needles/Thread
- Fabric pieces
- Cotton balls/Pom Poms
- Safety pins
- Stencils (letters & pictures)
- Stamp pads
- Large felt board
- Sandwich bags
- Treasure box single wrap candy
- Single electric hot burner
- Board games and card games for ages 6+
- Big Joe black bean bag chair
- Yoga balls
- Small dorm size refrigerator
- Small microwave