EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With the start of the school year right around the corner, teachers are preparing to welcome students back into their classrooms.
Amy O’Brien, a kindergarten teacher at Anthony Carnevale Elementary School in Providence, tells 12 News she decorates her classroom with items she’s collected over the years.
“I usually set up my reading tables, and each section of the room is usually a theme,” she explained. “I could have the reading center, the house-keeping center, the block center.”
Even though the school district provides teachers with some supplies, O’Brien said she often pays out-of-pocket for other items she needs, including books and cleaning supplies.
“I like [getting] the bleach wipes and I like [getting] paper towels,” she said. “The school towels aren’t good at picking up as well.”
So far, O’Brien estimates that she’s spending roughly $80 of her own money.
The Providence Public School District said the elementary school received $163,404 this year to purchase school supplies, ranging from notebooks to computers.
This comes as the price of school supplies has gone up 10% from last year, according to data collected by NeilsonIQ.
The data reveals that school essentials, like pencils and scissors, have gone up more than 30 cents and markers are up 29 cents.
O’Brien expects to spend more as the year goes on because she typically buys snacks for her students.
“They provide breakfast and lunch and they used to provide a snack,” she said of the school. “But last year they stopped, so I definitely spend a lot of money on snacks.”
O’Brien said despite the expenses, she’s looking forward to starting the school year.
“My favorite part of the school day is when I get to read to the children because I like to perform, I like to do different voices for the characters,” she said.