PHOENIX (3TV/ CBS 5) -- Courtney Thompson is entering her 8th year of teaching English at North Canyon High School. But this year is different. Come August, thanks to the generosity of others her classroom will be stocked.

"We really get to see these kids come into their own and figure out what their real dreams are," said Thompson.

[WATCH: Public comes to Phoenix teacher's aid thanks to celebrity, website]

Teaching runs in her family. Still, it comes with its own set of challenges.

"For us at Title 1 schools, how do we do this when the kids are coming in hungry? she asked. "Or their parents are going through a divorce or their parents are being deported?"

On top of that, add the challenge of expensive school supplies coming out of her pocket.

"They need crayons, and pencils, and markers and glue," Thompson said. "We're not asking for a $5,000 set of new tables."

Thompson says she also tries to stock her classroom with snacks.

"It's those little things that sometimes we forget about," Thompson said. "We get so wrapped up in teaching them Shakespeare, we forget that they're not thinking about it because they're hungry."

So imagine her surprise when New York City businessman Ben Adam adopted her classroom. We first told you about his site in April.

Then, actress Kristen Bell put Thompson in her "Featured Teacher Friday" on her Instagram page, encouraging her 10.8 million followers to donate to her classroom using her Amazon wishlist.

Related: NYC businessman adopts Phoenix classrooms, provides supplies

"Within days, Amazon packages started arriving of books, markers, pens, pencils," Thompson said. 

As people start to think about their own back to school shopping, she hopes you might be able to pick up a few items for her colleagues, too.

"This is life-changing," Thompson said. "Granola bars will be eaten, but books, they go on forever. I can use these for decades." 

Award-winning journalist Lindsey Reiser is a regular contributor in the evenings on CBS 5 News at 10 p.m.

Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



Recommended for you

(14) comments


Why should teachers be expected to spend a dime of their own? I have seen kids "borrow" pencils, pens, paper, etc day after day and what happens to them? The pencils are broken apart and used to throw across the room (mostly at the teacher) and the paper is left wadded up under the desks with garbage scribbled on them. Oh yes, this was in affluent schools where the kids could afford $800 iPads to play with during class time. I don't care if the kids cannot "afford" pencils, make them provide their own supplies like I had to when I was in school and for my kids while they were in school. In fact I was REQUIRED to buy a $250 calculator for my kids in basic algebra and geometry class. No my younger one could not use what the older ones had since the requirements had changed.

JF Conlon

What do English students in high school do with Sharpies, scissors and BandAids? They are there to learn about English Lit. & grammar, Lots of good books out there to keep them entertained, if that's what they're looking for.

JF Conlon

Okay. I have read today's articles, and some of the comments. English teachers, your students need to learn how to read and write. After that, you can pass out Sharpies and construction paper!


Hey, AZbest, I agree with your sentiment. AZ teachers need our support now more than ever especially as Trumps army of trolls outright refuse to argue/act in good faith on just about any important issue or policy measure, from the importance of Public Education to properly funding Public School Districts, to why locking refugee children in cages is sick, twisted, and evil etc. and the list goes on and on. It's always the same response from them "you're a dumbicrat!", "libtards aren't people!" "it's a deep state conspiracy to turn our kids ghey!" or some other contrived nonsensical argument about how "white culture is under attack!". Keep being a decent human being! AZ needs less wannabe Naziis and more people like AZbest!


Is discussing when the government an pos politicals agree to send billions of dollars to other s#&t hole countries like your favorite president puts it and forgets about his own country.. people DONT you forget that this teachers are our kids second parents while they are in school . They teach them how to read, write , behave , manners on an on an on so pls acknowledge them once in a while an thank them for their hard work an I mean it’s hard work cause they are dealing with 25 or 30 if not more attitudes an all at the same time .


Can you translate that to English please.


Please promise us you're not a teacher. (or a student)


I don't know of another profession where it's expected that the professional pays for their clients' supplies. I suspect this is a peculiarly US phenomenon.


Parents usually buy the supplies. I know we always did. Some people in this state just choose not to. Teachers make 42k a year (at least the one I know makes that much.) They choose to get less pay during the school year so they can get a lump sum before the summer break. Maybe they should get a job over the summer so they don't have to defer pay. But yes, I agree they shouldn't have to be burdened with buying supplies for students, like books.


In many cases, parents do buy the materials, I know mine did. But for things kids need but don't have, teachers step up. In some school systems, it's the majority of kids who need this help. And teachers are expected to provide it, because mostly nobody else does- and it has to be there for them to be expected. According to the documentary "American Teacher", over 90% of public school teachers spend their own money on supplies. That's a very broad statement; the details likely vary a good deal between neighborhoods and classrooms.


I forgot to ask- do you know how many hours a week your teacher friends works during the school year? How much does that teacher spend yearly on supplies out of their own income?


Who cares. They get a stipend for classroom supplies. How many hours a week does a professional in private industry work? How much of their time at home is spent doing work? How much time is spent traveling and being away from home? Point is you, little witch, need to wake up. Teachers work an average of 188 a year and still get a professional salary based on the NUMBER OF CONTRACT DAYS THEY WORK. Expand that income to a full 12 months and a teacher is a pretty sweet gig.


They are still working during the 'summer break'; Studying and getting new certifications and re-certification, as well as preparing for the new school year (modifying and creating lessons plans based on the district/state new curriculum requirements). I remember when I was in public school some 30+ years ago, I would bring home on my first day a list of supplies we needed (pens, notebooks, paper, binders, etc). The classrooms had basic supplies including the famous #2 pencils. scissors, glue, rulers and such. The school/district provided the textbooks.


It's not. Federal law requires the district to provide any supplies needed for a free and appropriate public education. The districts love all these supply drives because it alleviates them of their legal responsibility. Now shut up and go away moron.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.