DENVER — Teachers want their students to have every opportunity they deserve. So much so, that they'll spend hundreds of their own dollars on their students each year.
To help ease the expensive burden on educators, the Tuchman Family Foundation delivered supplies to all 70 teachers at Munroe Elementary, Rocky Mountain Prep Southwest and KIPP Sunshine Peak Elementary schools.
Each teacher got to make a list of $250 worth of supplies to support their classrooms. On Thursday, they received the items on their wish lists.
"I'm a mother and a teacher so I kind of split my money between my children and then my students," said Maruca Salazar, early education teacher at Munroe Elementary. "Sometimes there’s some sacrifices that I make."
Salazar said she spends around $200-$400 of her own money each year on her classroom, which can be financially straining.
She said that strain is worth it because it's for the kids.
"They're my hope for a better future and I really believe in our youth," said Salazar. "It gives me the opportunity to give back to my community as well as empower them."
Ken Tuchman, the founder of the Tuchman Family Foundation, said educators in Colorado are underpaid and often under-appreciated.
"Their schools don't have the budgets to even provide the basic supplies that the classrooms need," he said. "Every school is in this situation across the entire state. Hopefully, this brings some awareness so that other folks can get involved."
Tuchman said they also selected schools where there was a need.
"This particular school, Munroe, 98% of the children are on a free lunch program," he said.
Salazar's wish list included supplies for social-emotional learning, fine motor skills, water bottles, glue sticks, paper towels, and much more.
"This is like Christmas! It's really exciting just to see all these fresh things," she said. "The students love it just as much as we do."
She said these may be small things, but they make a big impact in the classroom.
"It's just about empowering them and giving them the resources they need to be able to flourish and make an impact on this world," said Salazar.
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