BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Not every student's parents can afford the supplies they need for school, which can put a strain on their teachers.
This year, they could get more help than ever before, thanks to a former teacher who is dedicated to making sure every student has the pencils they need to head back to class.
It feels like Christmas morning even in early September at The Teacher's Desk warehouse in Buffalo where teachers are able to pick up notebooks, markers, pens, pencils, and paper. The supply warehouse is full of donated books, binders, decorations, and more.
Teachers from schools where 70% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunches are eligible to apply for $1,000 worth of supplies.
FOUND IT ON 4 | Donate, volunteer or learn more about The Teacher's Desk
John Mika, former teacher and founder of The Teacher's Desk said, "The first year we had 20 schools that were a part of the Teacher's Desk and this year we've grown to 180." Mika's mission is to save teachers money and get supplies to students that need them the most.
The Dean of Students at Buffalo Academy of Science Charter School, Katie Bundy, came to pick out prizes for students who have earned good grades or behavior.
Bundy said, "We've been in school now since last week and already I have kids asking me when it's going to open up, because they've been winning tickets and they want to start turning them in. It's just a nice way to reward the kids who are doing the right thing."
Giving the students that type of reward is something she wouldn't be able to do without The Teacher's Desk, she said. According to Bundy, "So many teachers and staff buy everything out of our own pockets, that to be able to come to this, and get school supplies that could potentially last you for most of the year, is amazing."
The Teacher's Desk has so many donations, they are able to stay open throughout the entire school year and are planning on giving away $5 million worth of school supplies this year.
The Teacher's Desk is located at 22 Northampton St. in Buffalo and can be reached at 716-348-3412. For more information about volunteering, donating, or just to learn more about the program, visit their website at TheTeachersDesk.org.