LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – From gas to groceries, the price of everything is going up and it’s no different for school supplies.
Pencils sharpened and folders stocked, teachers at Wakefield Elementary are putting the final touches on their classrooms before students hit the halls next week.
“It’s coming along,” Fifth Grade Teacher Juanita Scroggins said.
From the books on the shelves to the posters on the walls, everything in her room Scroggins pays for herself.
“At the beginning of the school year we do have to pay out of pocket,” Scroggins said.
Scroggins said this year, those prices just keep getting higher and higher.
“It’s like wow, really this costs this amount and you think in the previous years it didn’t cost that, but everything has gone up,” Scroggins said.
In her 21-year tenure, Scroggins said she’s learned a few tricks of the trade.
“I recycle a lot of things,” Scroggins said.
What she does purchase, she always looks for a sale.
“This red mark here means I purchased it for 50% off,” Scroggins said.
From over two decades of experience to a teacher going into her third year, third grade teacher Natalie Ramos said she also re-uses items from previous years and looks for a discount.
“I’ve gone to Mardell they’ve had a 20-50% off sale,” Ramos said.
Even still, she paid a pretty penny to get her room ready.
“Like maybe two, three hundred dollars on my classroom,” Ramos said.
She said all the teachers work together to make sure students have what they need.
“We actually have a group message and so we’re like ‘okay who needs a lightbulb, who needs whatever.’ I actually needed some batteries and so thankfully another teacher was like ‘okay I have some,'” Ramos said.
No matter the price, both teachers say it’s all worth it seeing students take their first steps into their room.
“That’s the goal for them to come here and feel like it’s like a second home to them,” Ramos said.