News 12 This Morning/Tuesday Oct. 1, 2013
(WRDW)--In her 28 years of teaching, Caryoln Lewis says she's paid out of her own pocket several times for supplies for her students.
"It could be from clothing, treats, incentives, pencils, supplies," said Lewis.
Almost $2 million was spent on supplies last year from educator wages, according to the National School Supply and Equipment Association.
That equals about $485 for the year out of the average teacher's pocket.
Lewis, who teaches at Craig Houghton Elementary, says she gets a $150 budget from Richmond County for school supplies, which she says just isn't enough.
"We do charts in the class in the classroom [and] those chart tablets are about $20 to $23 a tablet," she explained. "And, with $150, you can't buy a whole lot."
That's why Debbie Daniel and three of her family members started the Christian Giles Scholarship Fund, in the name of her daughter, Christian Giles--who died four years ago in her first year of teaching.
"With all the furlough days and stuff, their own salaries are getting cut and so this is our way to help them," Daniel said. "Plus, keep Christian's memory alive."
On average, the Christian Giles Scholarship Fund raises about $35,000 a year and gives supplies and field trip money to six low income schools in the area.
"Some students get the exposure like at private schools or magnets schools, but here, we don't even have a PTA at this point, so this is truly a blessing for the students," said Lewis.
And Lewis, who also knew Christian, says the opportunity for her students means a lot.
"Christian would be smiling at us right now if she saw all the beautiful things that have occurred," she said.
And you can contribute too, if you'd like. Fundraisers are held throughout the year to help these teachers and the Christian Giles Scholarship Fund's biggest event is the "Spook-tacular" carnival, which is this Saturday, October 5 at Evans Town Center from 10 am to 2 pm.
Admission is free and there are several activities to enjoy including an inflatable maze and slime machine.
Tickets for activities at the carnival are $.50 and all proceeds go directly to the scholarship fund.
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