HEF’s Teaching Tools Store Reopens for the New School Year

Tampa, Fla. – (July 24, 2022) The start of school is just around the corner for students—August 10th is the first day for Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS). While some kids are focused on what they’ll wear or the excitement of seeing friends, others are worrying whether they’ll have a pencil or paper to help them succeed in school. In HCPS, three out of five students are from economically disadvantaged families, and many can’t afford the basic supplies their children need as they head back to their classrooms.

Hillsborough Education Foundation believes a lack of resources should not be a barrier for students to learn. That’s why last school year, HEF provided more than $4.1 million in free supplies to students and teachers at our highest needs schools through our Teaching Tools Resource Center. It was a record-setting year for our supply distribution, which shows the need to support our most vulnerable students is greater than ever, given recent financial hardships for many families.

The Teaching Tools Resource Center, located at HEF: 2306 N. Howard Avenue in Tampa, reopens Monday, July 25th at 1:30 p.m. for the 2022-2023 school year. Teachers in HCPS Title I schools can shop for core school supplies and other resources needed for their classrooms twice per semester—at no cost to them. Last school year, one shopping trip was worth an average of $418 in supplies—that’s an annual savings of nearly $1,700!

We know all too often dedicated teachers will purchase supplies out of their own pockets before letting their students go without. A 2022 Kids in Need survey found one out of three teachers spent more than $500 of their personal funds on materials for students in the 2021-22 school year.

The community can support students and teachers and help stock the store’s shelves by hosting a supply drive at their business or organization, shopping from HEF’s Amazon Wish List or making a donation and HEF will purchase the most-needed supplies. Check out a list of the Top 20 Most-Needed School Supplies and learn more about the ways to get involved at EducationFoundation.com/DonateSchoolSupplies.

Members of the media who would like to visit the Teaching Tools Resource Center are asked to contact Kendra Oestreich at (813) 944-9510 or [email protected].

About Hillsborough Education Foundation Established in 1987, Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF) is a nonprofit focused on strengthening public education by supporting teachers and empowering students to achieve academic and personal success. Together with our community partners, HEF strategically invests in initiatives that impact teaching quality, increase graduation rates and build equity in education—bolstering a thriving workforce of tomorrow and the sustainable prosperity of Tampa Bay. Learn more at EducationFoundation.com.


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