The Teacher’s Desk in Buffalo allows thousands of teachers to shop for free supplies


Studies show that on average teachers spend about $700 of their own money to buy school supplies for their classroom. At the Teacher’s Desk in Buffalo, that burden is lifted for thousands of teachers across Western New York.

“I spend probably about $500 to $1000 a year or even more on my students and it comes right from my pocket, and this way I don’t have to spend that much money,” said Megan Boggs. Buffalo Public Schools teacher.

Six thousand teachers come through the doors of the Teacher’s Desk every year, and each one gets $1000 worth of free school supplies.

“It allows me to get supplies to provide to my students who may not be able to purchase supplies due to whatever financial strain that their families are under,” said Nyeema Quinniey, Buffalo Public School teacher.

Founder John Mika understands that need, first hand.

“When I taught in the city schools there was 3 pencils for a whole classroom, so that really led me to thinking about opening a teacher free store, which led to this we’ve been here 7 years now,” said John Mika, Teacher’s Desk Director.

The motto at the non-profit is “delivering hope to students in need.”

“Everything a teacher needs from pencils to 3-ring binders and then you have fun stuff. Bouncy balls, coloring books, crayons,” said Mika.

Teachers at schools where 70% or more of students eligible for the federal school lunch program free or reduced, qualify.

“They need scissors, tissues, antibacterial wipes, pretty much anything to make our classroom a better place to learn,” said Dan Quigley, Union East Elementary School Pre-k teacher.

More volunteers are always needed here at the Teacher’s Desk.

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