The Athens Banner-Herald is reporting a story that is at once tragic and heartwarming: teachers in the area are being forced to pay for supplies out-of-pocket, and many of them are having to go without. Or WOULD be having to go without, if not for a special program put into place:
During the past five years, teachers from Clarke, Madison, Oconee and Oglethorpe counties have been able to stretch their supply budget by taking advantage of the Teacher Re-Use Store, a clearinghouse run by the Athens-Clarke Solid Waste Department’s Recycling Division.
Local businesses, like Merial, a veterinary pharmaceuticals company, and the University of Georgia, donate items that otherwise would end up in a landfill and the store invites teachers to go “shopping” for supplies.
“It’s kind of like a huge yard sale, but everything is free,” said Suki Janssen, waste reduction administrator for the Athens-Clarke Solid Waste Department, who runs the store each year at the recycling center on Hancock Industrial Way.
I have to say, this is a pretty excellent program. It’s recycling in the truest sense of the word, and I definitely approve. And hey, once the Re-Use Store has freed up a little budget money, send those teachers on over our way. We’ll take care of them.