Teachers’ union runs makeshift supply store in Davenport

DAVENPORT — A teachers’ union is operating a makeshift store in Davenport offering new teachers free or discounted classroom supplies ahead of the new school year.

The Davenport Education Association has stocked the “teacher re-store” at the Lincoln Fundamental School with donations from retired teachers, community members and agencies, the Quad-City Times reported. Some of the supplies and teaching materials were purchased with grant money.

The average Davenport teacher spends $400 in personal funds for classroom supplies, said Cari Johnson, the union’s president.

The teacher’s union wants to “gain and retain” quality teachers, said Sarah McGlynn, a special education teacher at Monroe Elementary School. “Hopefully, this is a way they’ll feel supported,” she said.

About 20 teachers and some mentors visited the store Tuesday. Graham Latchaw, a new teacher at Children’s Village West, said he would have been searching yard sales for resources without the makeshift store.

“I think it’s a great resource,” said Sara Leonard, a mentor at Children’s Village. “We found some things that will be perfect for the classroom.”

Paul Leathers, who teaches children with behavioral disorders at Adams Elementary, had to make several trips to carry all of the supplies he found at the store for his first year of teaching. Leathers carried out conflict resolution books, name tags, math exercises and classroom decorations.

The store will open again for new teachers in September, McGlynn said. Experienced teachers will be invited to shop later.