Helping teachers around the country get the educational materials they need for the improvement of public school education and the support of educators.
There are a lot of problems with our education system, but one of the most fundamental issues is that teachers working at low income public schools do not receive the funds they need in order to properly equip their classrooms. With the small budgets that teachers receive, they are forced to either dig into their own pockets or watch their students’ learning experiences suffer. As a result, 99.5% of all public school teachers spend at least some out of pocket money equipping their classrooms. For the 2013-2014 school year, teachers in the United States spent an average of $513 out-of-pocket on classroom supplies, instructional materials and books for their classrooms, but for many teachers, that figure was substantially higher.
Making Teaching Materials Accessible and Affordable
At Pass the Apple, our goal is to help alleviate a huge financial burden for teachers. The system is simple: Teachers who are retiring or who no longer need gently used classroom furniture or supplies can list their materials on Pass the Apple. Due to the fact that most of the materials are used, they are listed at anywhere from 50% to 80% off retail prices. Retired educators can even choose to offer free teaching materials. New teachers are then able to search the site for discount teaching supplies that they can put to good use.
People who sell items on Pass the Apple are able to list as many items for sale as they like. There is no cap, no listing fees, and no transaction fees for the seller. When an item sells, the teacher who listed it gets 80% of the purchase price. That’s 20-50% more than they would earn at a consignment store.
Teachers can buy whatever they like on the site with a free membership. If teachers can’t find the supplies they need amongst the slightly used merchandise, Pass the Apple offers access to thousands of new classroom products at wholesale prices and flat rate shipping of just $9.95. That means that a new teacher could potentially purchase supplies for his or her whole classroom and only pay $9.95 in shipping.
With our services at Pass the Apple, we hope to make public school and home-school materials more easily accessible and affordable while also making it easier for retiring teachers to earn back some of the money that they’ve spent over the years.
We also want to help provide teacher resources and a sense of community amongst public school teachers around the nation. With our blog, The Apple Seed, we offer advice, tips, inspiration, and creative ideas for making both your classroom and your teaching experience more enjoyable and productive. With our charitable giving initiative, The Giving Tree, we provide financial support to teacher-created projects on DonorsChoose.org. If you have a project that you’d like supported, please let us know.
Nearly half of all new teachers leave the profession within five years of starting, and the main reason for that is a lack of support and resources. Together, we hope that can change.
Our Unique Story
Pass the Apple was founded by Yolanda Terry. After receiving her degree in Early Childhood Education from Tennessee Tech University, Yolanda started teaching at a Title I elementary school in rural Tennessee. Title I schools are dependent on federal funds for the education of at-risk students living at or near the poverty level. Altogether, Title I schools receive about $14 billion in funding every year. That may sound like a lot of money, but for Yolanda’s classroom, that meant that she had $500 to spend on supplies for her classroom for the entire year.
By the end of her first year of teaching, Yolanda had taken on credit card debt in addition to her student loan debt in order to properly equip her classroom. She carried on teaching like this in Tennessee for five years before she began teaching Technology to grades K-5 and Gifted in Virginia. Over time, Yolanda realized that even though she was still teaching, she no longer needed many of the supplies that she once used.
Shortly thereafter, Pass the Apple was born as a way to connect teachers directly with one another and to give them a means to support each other’s classrooms, regardless of school district, federal funding, or state boundaries.