Last week, 2016 OSI Community Fellow, Melissa Badeker and her program, Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap was featured on WMAR. This time of year is especially busy for Badeker, who started the program with another fellow teacher as a way to collect unused school supplies from educators who no longer needed the materials and get them into the hands of those who could put them to use. The swap is open to everyone – members pay a minimal yearly fee and can visit frequently to take what they need, non-members get their first visit free – and helps to reduce the burden on teachers who have to pay out-of-pocket for their supplies.
Says Badeker, “Students can’t learn if they don’t have the materials they need and that’s why we are here.”
Badeker and the Swap were also recently featured on both national NPR’s Morning Edition and local WYPR’s On the Record, where Badeker discussed how, with OSI support, she was able to expand the Swap, which gave away $20,000 worth of supplies in 2015, the year it started, and has already given away $180,000 worth of supplies so far this year, a little more than halfway through the year.