The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and former first lady Barbara Bush on Wednesday launched a campaign to get new books and supplies into the hands of school children affected by Hurricane Harvey.
The group, also including First Book, has earmarked $100,000 toward the Harvey effort, part of a $200,000 umbrella program called "Essentials for Kids Fund" that is a national campaign to get basic educational resources into severely underfunded public schools.
"A union is a family, and we are doing what we can to help educators and students deal with the impact of Hurricane Harvey. That includes supporting them through the long process of rebuilding, and starts with restocking their schools and classrooms,” said AFT president Randi Weingarten.
AFT says educators spend an average of $600 annually out of their own pockets to make up for the lack of basic state funding.
"We're also stepping up to help educators across the country who dig into their own wallets to make sure their classrooms are stocked with basics and their students have a warm jacket, school supplies, food or even basic hygiene products like shampoo. The Essentials for Kids Fund offers direct help to educators serving kids in need, and 100 percent of the funds raised will go to providing educators what they need to teach and kids what they need to learn," Weingarten said in the statement.
The "Essentials for Kids Fund" is seeded by $75,000 each from AFT and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation.
AFT has designated $25,000 toward the Harvey effort, and all of the $75,000 from the Barbara Bush foundation will go to "help rebuild classroom libraries and provide other resources for Houston-area educators affected by the hurricane," the release said.
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