PORTLAND – During July and August, Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Homes’ annual school supply drive collected hundreds of items to support local teachers and students.
Adam and Caitlin Walker, owners of Conroy-Tully Walker, were inspired to start the annual drive by Caitlin’s own experience as a teacher.
“No matter your class size, the amount that teachers spend of their own money is incredibly high. So many teachers face this issue and I wanted to try my best to help as many students, teachers, and families as possible,” explains Caitlin, who was a special education teacher for seven years before entering the funeral business.
With each passing school year, teachers have become increasingly more responsible for ensuring that each student has the essential supplies needed to succeed in the classroom. A report prepared by the National Center for Education Statistics found that in the 2015-2016 School Year, 94% of teachers spent an average of $479 of their own money for the year.
– During Conroy-Tully Walker’s 2018 drive, community members donated:
– More than 500 2-pocket folders
– More than 100 one- and three-subject notebooks
– More than 3500 sheets of loose notebook paper
– More than 150 boxes of crayons, colored pencils, and markers
– 10 backpacks
– An additional 10 backpacks filled with school supplies
– Construction paper
– Index cards
– Tape, glue sticks and bottles of glue
– Dry erase markers
– Three-ring binders
This year’s drive saw a 10% increase in donations over last year, a trend that the Walkers hope to see continue next year.
The collected supplies have already been distributed to teachers, who were given the opportunity to select the items most needed for their classrooms.
“We are thrilled by the outpouring of community support for this effort,” said Adam Walker. “Our main goal with trying to rally the community together to help local schools is to make sure as many students have what they need in order to be successful throughout the school year, and the community certainly came together this year to help make that happen.”