Teachers are starting to prepare their classrooms for the upcoming school year; now one social media movement is taking off to help local instructors get ready for the Fall. Classes in Great Falls are expected to resume in-person on August 26th. Teachers are scrambling to set up their classrooms with supplies and provide a safe environment for students.

‘Great Falls helping Great Educators ADOPT a TEACHER’ is a new Facebook group that’s letting people donate to teachers in need.

“It's going to be a year unlike any that we've ever seen,” said Amy Sterling, a 7th Grade teacher at East Middle School.

Jen Rucinsky, a parent, created the group on Friday as a way to give back in such uncertain times.

“Teachers needs are pretty high. Basically right now because of Covid the major things is individual items for students. So things that used to be shared in a communal environment in a classroom are not gonna be possible this year. I felt now was a good time to get others involved," said Rucinsky.

Sterling weighs in, “Teachers spend a lot of out of pocket money. Especially this year with not being able to share anything. It's going to be very very expensive so we are so grateful people are willing to step up and adopt us and to help us buy what we need for our classrooms."

The process is simple; teachers fill out a questionnaire and list items they think they need the most. Then, they become ‘adopted’ or ‘partially adopted’ when people sign up to donate those materials.

Some of the items in highest demand, “Clorox wipes are obviously a big one now, hand sanitizers. The needs that they have now are so completely different than what they would have been a year ago," said Rucinsky.

Sterling expects thorough cleaning on a regular basis during the day.

“It’s going to be pretty intensive as far as trying to keep things clean in between classes to make sure we're keeping the kids as healthy and safe as possible.  But we’re excited to go back and do it for the kids.”

People can donate anonymously, send gift cards, or offer services.

According to Rucinsky, "I am not expecting anyone to spend thousands or hundreds or even tens of dollars but even if everybody in this town would donate $5-$10 that would fulfill I would say even 100% of what these teachers are needing.”

Teachers say they appreciate every effort to make the start of the school year a little easier on everyone.

“To me it means teachers are still valued in this process and that we're noticed. It will make their year. When I found out that I had been adopted I truly, it brings tears to your eyes and just a good warm feeling knowing that people want to help and we're all in this together,” said Sterling.

Katie Brooke, a Second Grade teacher at West Elementary explains why she’s so grateful for Adopt-a-Teacher, “This movement is so awesome for us teachers. Especially during this difficult time going on.  Us teachers really appreciate any help we can receive for our classrooms.”

If you’re a teacher looking to be adopted or if you’re willing to donate, you can join the group on Facebook and make a post.

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