Valley teachers spending big bucks on school supplies find place to save money

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Elementary school teacher Heather Hall reaches into her own wallet every year to buy things she needs for the classroom.

Last year, Hall spent close to a thousand dollars.

"I would do it no matter what," said Hall. "I love the kids and I want them to have the best education they can possibly get,  even if it means going outside the box and thinking of unique things and using my own money."

At a time when Arizona school districts are strapped for cash, more and more teachers are taking it upon themselves to buy school supplies with their own money.

That's where Treasures for Teachers comes in.

Barbara Blalock created Treasures for Teachers 11 years ago as a way to help teachers get what they need to be successful.

"Sometimes I hear that when a teacher goes into a classroom, all they have is desks and chairs," said Blalock. "Sometimes they don't even have a clock or garbage can."

Treasures for Teachers has a warehouse in Tempe that offers educators low-cost school supplies, furniture and lots of free books.

There is a $35 annual membership fee, but Blalock said that most teachers make that money back in their first visit.

 "It makes a big difference," said 8th-grade science teacher Jailyn Jenkins. "From binder clips to lab goggles, it saves me a pretty hefty amount of money, definitely a couple hundred dollars."

Everything in the warehouse was donated by local businesses, retired teachers, or someone who just cares about kids

If you are interested in making a donation or learning more about Treasures for Teachers you can visit

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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