Drive for supplies helps Tucson teachers, students - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Drive for supplies helps Tucson teachers, students

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TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - It's back to school time in Southern Arizona, but for many families that means a long list of expensive school supplies.

Because some folks just can't afford them, teachers often end up buying those items themselves.

Walter Douglas Elementary 4th Grade Teacher Jaime Diaz says teachers often spend $200-$500 out-of-pocket every year to purchase school supplies for their students.

For the third year, Walgreens is teaming-up with non-profit Tucson Values Teachers to stock Southern Arizona classrooms with the much-needed items.

Diaz says teachers in his district need spiral notebooks, pencils, crayons, and journals because many students in the Flowing Wells District just can't afford those basic supplies.

"They come from an area where it's a little bit tough maybe to go out and buy all the supplies they want. A lot of our teachers don't even do the list here just because of the fact that it's pretty basic stuff that we need," says Diaz.

Because of budget cuts and more teachers, yearly allocations keep getting smaller and smaller, but the lessons stay the same.

Diaz says students need certain items to get their assignments done and make them more successful in the classroom.

Last year the community donated $71,000 worth of school supplies to thousands of area teachers.

This year the goal is to deliver $100,000 worth of supplies to 10,000 teachers at public, private, and charter schools.

Collection boxes are set up at all Southern Arizona Walgreens stores in Tucson, Pima County, Sierra Vista, and Nogales.

Community members can drop off supplies anytime between now and August 15, 2011.

For a full list of participating Walgreens, click here.

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