By TAG HARTMAN
Posted Jul 28, 2012 @ 08:00 AM
In reaction to the needs of its community, NAEIR has instituted a new “Teacher’s Program” to benefit teachers and students in the upcoming school year. Talking about the new program, President Gary Smith explained how it works and what he hopes it will achieve.
“We are in the pre-registration phase of the program,” Smith said. “If teachers go to the website, they can sign up for the program using their first name, last name and email address, and right around mid-August they can start ordering merchandise from the website.”
According to Smith, the merchandise is free — all teachers have to pay for is the shipping and handling costs.
“The types of merchandise we’ll have available will be for use in the classroom,” Smith said, “things they need for the kids and for the educational process. It’s primarily for the elementary and mid-school levels, featuring basic classroom supplies, as well as things like stickers.”
The program will also feature varying seasonal supplies that teachers can order, themed around holidays such as Christmas, Easter and Halloween. There may also be apparel, although Smith said that it will be rare since apparel donation tends to happen at the school level.
“It just depends on the types of things we have available,” Smith said of the store’s merchandise availability. “We have things like mechanical pencils. In store the cost of these would be $24, but all the teachers have to pay is shipping and handling, so it’s reduced to $6.”
As for why NAEIR has decided to institute such a program, Smith touched on the company’s sense of responsibility to the community.
“We feel like you look in the papers every day and you hear about these teachers that are paying, yearly, $500 to $600 out of pocket for basic school supplies such as these.”
As for the future of the program, Smith says it is entirely up to the kids and the teachers.
“It just depends on what we think the teachers and the kids will like,” he said. “They will be the true test of the program.”
The program, as Smith said, is still in pre-registration mode. Teachers interested in the program must visit the website or contact NAEIR to fill out the application. The store will go online in mid-August.
“We are still working out some technical stuff, but we hope to have the whole store online soon so that teachers can order easily with a credit card.”
Above all else, Smith is excited to see if the program succeeds.
“We’re excited and we’re trying to get our donors excited to make a difference.”