My name is Jena Campbell and I am a Middle School Science and Reading teacher in the Viborg-Hurley School District. I have an amazing story of a rural community standing in the gap for my classrooms; the financial gap that is. According to the New York Times, May 16, 2018, "94% of teachers spend their own money on school supplies". (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/us/teachers-school-supplies.html)
The Department of Education also has their own data on the subject of teacher out of pocket spending: https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2018/2018097.pdf
To combat this, one must think creatively. I approached 3 locally owned and operated businesses to collaborate with me and become my classroom-business partners. I am proud to say that all 3 business owners have agreed to step in and bridge the financial gap that exists in education; to support our school. I am proud to say that the partnership with DakotaACE Hardware, owner Bryan Miller, is 5 years strong. Followed closely by Merchant's State Bank of Viborg. manager Troy Lee; and the newest partner (2019) Hometown Grocery Store, owners Randy & Sanja Johnson. It is through the generosity of these local business owners that I am able to provide enriching, project based, and relevant learning opportunities for my students in all of my classes.
Supplies include: batteries, measuring tools, hand tools, seeds, potting soil, modeling clay, duct tape, and pantry staples: vinegar, salt, paper products, plastic products, and much more! Additionally, Merchant's State Bank supports the reading goals of my reading students and celebrates the milestones that they reach!
In my opinion, It is a story worth telling of successful classroom-business partnerships; of a rural community supporting its students.
Please contact me with any questions. I would love to visit with you more about a classroom business model; to publicly highlight my partners, and to inform other educators how to establish a business partnership of their own.