If You Are Running Low on Supplies, the DCPS Virtual Store Can Help
Each year, DCPS relies on several generous donors to help supply classrooms with all the necessities. And, every year, teachers run out of supplies and have to reach into their own pockets to replenish their
This year, DCPS has devised a way to match teachers with the supplies they need and determine what supplies are in highest demand so requests can be made to donors.
It's called the Virtual Store, it exists on the Internet and it's here to help.
"Schools have some supplies, but always need more," said Shereen Williams, director of community partnerships for DCPS. "If we can cut down on teachers spending their own money, we'll do that."
Williams, who coordinates donations and distribution of donated supplies, said DCPS receives donations throughout the year, but gets a large amount in the summer and around winter break. While it's assumed that teachers will need notebooks, pencils, erasers, pens and other items, it's difficult to determine a specific teacher's needs.
With the Virtual Store, teachers can logon to a Google Doc and request certain items and amounts within reason. DCPS then fills those orders with donated items until supplies run out. Teachers receive their supplies through interoffice mail.
This year, Williams opened the Virtual Store in December by alerting teachers through the Educator Portal on the DCPS website. Minutes after posting, she had requests from 100 teachers. Currently, she has requests from nearly 600 teachers representing every ward in the district and every discipline.
Williams said the numbers of items in stock vary greatly, so there are no guarantees that teachers will get exactly what they requested.
For example, there may be hundreds or thousands of some items such as pencils and pens, and teachers can general get what they wanted. Other items, such as backpacks, might not be available in great numbers and, therefore, need to be distributed in a more thoughtful manner.
"It's good to know there's a need for specific items, so if we see a lot of orders for glue sticks, we will know to ask donors for those," Williams said, noting that teachers should check the Educators Portal for updates. "We will fill as many orders as we can before stocking up again and putting out another announcement."
Below is a list of individuals and organizations that have donated supplies to DCPS. Thanks for your help!
- Post Office Women for Equal Rights (P.O.W.E.R.)
- Girl Scout Troop 3096 from Service Unit 54-1
- SunTrust Bank
- InScope International Inc.
- American Institute for Research
- Howard University Golden Key International Honor Society
- Tim Filipowicz
- Beverly Randolph
- Washington Nationals