#ClearTheList: Local teachers getting free school supplies through viral Facebook campaign
Last month Marksville eighth grade teacher Nettie Jeansonne joined a simple Facebook group called 'Support a Teacher'.
"I came across it and I was like, seems like a neat idea,” Jeansonne said.
She noticed teachers nationwide posting their Amazon classroom wish lists on the page and followed suit.
The first list she made included most of the basics, like glue sticks and pencils. But, when that list cleared she made a second one with bigger ticket items.
"I kept it to a majority of my STEM and classroom materials,” Jeansonne said.
A Texas teacher started the Facebook page over the summer, and it has since gone viral. The page, geared towards teachers helping other teachers purchase school supplies, has grown. There are now more than 50 separate pages by state and region. The 'Support a Teacher South' page alone has more than 25,000 members.
The idea is also trending on Instagram and Twitter with #Clearthelist and #Supportateach.
"People have said, why not just buy your own,” Jeansonne said. “Yeah, I could have bought my own. But, it is so much more fun waiting and seeing your purchase list. You are thinking, when is Amazon going to drop it off at home?"
The gifts come with sweet messages from old friends and new friends.
“You open it up and you don't know even who it is from,” Jeansonne said. “My first gift, I opened was from a stranger. The second gift I opened was from a former student that I taught in the early 2000s, who is now a teacher. So, it was super neat just to see where everything is coming from."
She also got her colleagues on board.
"It is like Christmas,” said Marksville High School teacher Tiffany Rabalais. I have gifted four or five teachers.”
"I saw that teachers were just supporting each other left and right,” said Marksville teacher Nuri Jeter. “I wanted to be a part of that. Not just to get something, but to also give back too."
Jeansonne said she is overwhelmed by the support from teachers and others outside of the profession.
"Painting teachers in a better light than we have been painted in,” Jeansonne said. “It gives you the feeling of people are actually respecting our profession again and all that we do for kids."
The teachers hope this new season of giving will continue for summers to come.
“I think it is something all teachers are going to look forward to,” Rabalais said.
“I hope it doesn't go away,” Jeansonne said. “I hope it just keeps going."
Support A Teacher Facebook Page - South region: www.facebook.com/groups/2445672745455163/
Campaign can be found on Twitter and Instagram through: #Supportateach, #clearthelist