You can help Vail Valley teachers buy supplies |

You can help Vail Valley teachers buy supplies

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –Jesslyn Hildred, an eighth-grade teacher at Minturn Middle School, wants to buy reading workbooks for her Vail Valley students and books for a classroom library. Nicole Dewell, an Eagle Valley High School teacher, wants new globes for her geography classes.

Teachers often find they don’t have enough classroom materials to teach their students, even in a school district with a healthy budget. Teachers end up spending some of their own money to buy the things they really need, which is why the Eagle County School district is trying to bring attention to the Adopt-A-Classroom program that several of its teachers have enrolled in.

Ines Barcenas, a fifth-grade science teacher at Avon Elementary School, wrote that teaching science is her passion on the Adopt-A-Classroom Web site.

“The funding would help us tremendously because I pay for the majority of the materials needed for the experiments and projects ,” she said.

The school district is “pretty well-funded and has somewhat healthy reserves, but there are several unfunded programs and initiatives in Eagle County Schools that could help us move that much further ahead,” said Brooke Skjonsby, Eagle County Schools spokeswoman. The per-pupil funding revenue is lower than many other school districts in the state, she said.

When someone adopts a classroom, the money goes into an online account that teachers can spend on sites that sell school supplies and are also affiliated with the program.

Research varies, but national estimates show teachers can spend about $500, on average, to buy school supplies each year, according to a 2001 survey by Quality Education Data Inc., a research firm in Denver. Some estimates show teachers spend as much as $1,200 of their own money.

Nevada Rep. Dina Titus introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives last week that would allow teachers to deduct up to $500 in out-of-pocket expenses each year, double the current amount allowed, to help teachers make up some of the costs.

Teachers at local schools like Avon Elementary, June Creek Elementary, Battle Mountain High School and Minturn Middle School are enrolled in Adopt-A-Classroom and waiting for locals to lend a hand.

From simple items like construction paper and markers, to text books, novels and globes, local teachers say they can use more supplies to expand curriculum.

Barcenas needs science experiment items like food coloring and baking soda, but teachers who teach reading and English need books, plain and simple.

“Additional funding would allow me to purchase books and other materials that are at my students’ reading level,” wrote Lilette Wheatman, a ninth-grade teacher at Battle Mountain High School. “They are smart students, they just need a little support.”

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

The Adopt-A-Classroom program helps teachers save out-of-pocket money and helps students get the materials they need for school. To donate to a specific Eagle County school classroom, visit

Support Local Journalism