GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (News10) — Clear the List is a movement sweeping the nation that helps teachers with the financial burden of back-to-school supplies for their classrooms. It has arrived in the Capital Region thanks to one simple hashtag.
“Every single day as a teacher looks completely different. On some days, even at the middle school level, I’m a shoulder to cry on. Some days I’m patching up injuries,” Katie Fahrenkopf said. “if you really want to create a community in your classroom, you have to know your students well.”
Katie said creating a welcoming learning environment for kids, many times costs teachers extra money out of their own pockets. She purchases everything from specific chairs to help with students who have sensory issues to food for a fully stocked snack cabinet.
In June 2021, Adopt a Classroom surveyed over 5,400 teachers across the country and found on average, they spent $750 on school supplies each year.
That’s where Clear the List comes in. The online mission started in 2019. Teachers use the hashtag #clearthelist on any social media platform, and anyone can find a local teacher near them and purchase items from their shopping cart on Amazon.
In 2020, T-Mobile saw Katie’s hashtag and sponsored her entire list. Since then, the community has stepped up to help purchase her school supplies. Katie posted her list this year and has seen countless people—including complete strangers—purchase items on her Amazon wish list.
“It means everything. It means that people really do care about providing the best education possible for students,” Katie said. “And it’s not just about the items. I think it fills teachers with hope for the new year.”
To find a teacher in a local school district, there is a searchable list by Get Your Teach On on their website.