New Jersey Teacher Urges Candidates to Donate Campaign Supplies to Schools

Hope Stewart's innovative idea could save teachers money and supply classrooms with the materials they desperately need.
Pens, pencils, and printers used during the campaign could make a big difference in classrooms across the U.S. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Nov 6, 2012
Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.

Hope Stewart, like many teachers across America, has spent a countless amount of money on school supplies. Instead of reaching into her pocket this month, she is urging the Obama and Romney campaigns to donate their supplies to schools.

Given that public school teachers dish out $3 billion a year on school supplies, Stewart may be on to something.

The 13-year teaching veteran writes on her petition:

President Obama and Governor Romney have hundreds, maybe even thousands, of campaign offices around the country, and I think it would mean a lot to the kids and teachers in these local public schools if the campaigns coordinated to donate their supplies to these communities after the election.

I am not sure what the plans are for all these campaign supplies once the campaign is over (maybe a warehouse? maybe a landfill?), but I can guarantee you that public schools nationwide could use a lot of it long after we know the election's winners and losers.

Stewart isn't asking for anything fancy, just pens, pencils, and maybe a printer.

More: The Way Teachers Are Getting School Supplies May Surprise You

The petition is getting signatures and positive reactions from people across the U.S.

One supporter, Kecia H. of Maryland, writes, "There are so many schools hit by Super Storm Sandy and their supplies were wiped out. This is a great way to give back to those in need."

Kristin J. of Oklahoma writes, "There are so many public schools in desperate need of basic school/office supplies. Teachers spend out of their own pockets constantly. This is one way to help those schools and teachers as well as being an environmentally responsible effort."

After you've signed the petition, and if you want to do more, consider making a small donation to a classroom project through DonorsChoose. Many teachers in high-poverty areas are in need of supplies that go beyond pens and pencils. Classrooms are in need of materials such as fiction books, musical instruments, and science supplies.

Jenny is the Education Editor at TakePart. She has been writing for TakePart since 2009 and previously worked in film and television development. She has taught English in Vietnam and tutors homeless children in Los Angeles. Email Jenny | @jennyinglee |

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