Assist Teachers of Tornado-stricken Moore, Okla. Prepare for the New School Year

Teachers receive funds to purchase supplies and resources for their new classrooms

Aug 16, 2013, 08:00 ET from

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, nearly three months after the devastating tornado that stuck the Moore, Okla. area on May 20, the Moore Public Schools are going back to school. In support of the new school year, national nonprofit organization, with support from OfficeMax®, delivered a credit of $1,000 to each teacher of Briarwood Elementary, Plaza Towers Elementary and Highland East Junior High -- three schools that suffered irreparable damage in the tornado -- for use on's online resource center.

The donation, which totaled more than $150,000, enables Moore, Okla. teachers to set up their new, temporary classrooms with the critical supplies and resources their students need to succeed in school.

"In the wake of the May 20 disaster, the community of Moore, Okla. was left with very little. But, a sure sign of recovery in this community is when the kids go back to school," said Bob Thacker, executive director, "As an organization, we created a special program called After Disaster especially for teachers in a time of need. We provide immediate funding to aid in rebuilding their classrooms to set their students up for success and provide a little bit of normalcy."

Using the donation from, teachers can shop on for classrooms supplies such as books, notebooks, calculators, computers and more from a network of more than 40 vendors.

"I am so grateful for this wonderful gift from," said Jennifer Simonds, kindergarten teacher, Plaza Towers Elementary. "$1,000 will go a very long way in rebuilding my classroom and creating a space that is fun, engaging and safe for my incoming kindergarteners this year."

More than 15 million children currently live in U.S. households with families who cannot provide all the resources needed to succeed in school. This growing epidemic is especially true in communities rebuilding from natural disasters. As a result, the average teacher is forced to purchase nearly 75 percent of all classroom materials out of their own pockets. Today, teachers typically spend up to $1,000 of their own money every school year -- an annual total of more than $3 billion nationwide -- buying materials for their classrooms.

"Moore Public Schools is extremely grateful to have the support of as we ramp up for this unique school year," said Robert Romines, superintendent of Moore Public Schools. "As our schools begin the rebuilding process, the materials this donation provides will enable our faculty to create the optimal environment for learning in their temporary classrooms."

Founded in 1998, is a national nonprofit that supports student success by empowering teachers with the funds they need to purchase classroom supplies. To date, has raised more than $16 million to support teachers and provide learning materials for 3.6 million students and growing -- a majority of which are in low-income, high-need schools. Representing 25 percent of all U.S. schools, more than 87,000 K-12 teachers have registered on the website. Teachers can register their classroom on to begin receiving support today.

Contact information
Brent Renneke
Carmichael Lynch Spong
(612) 375-8537