Imagine a place where you can shop to your teacher’s hearts content, filling an entire shopping cart with goodies for the classroom for mere dollars. You may be saying to yourself, “Megan and JoAnn, that place doesn’t exist. Teacher supplies cost a fortune.” My dear friend, it does exist and if you haven’t yet been to Treasures 4 Teachers than you are missing a gold mine.
Okay, I admit it! I am in teacher, crafter, thrift-er overload. Treasures 4 Teachers is so well-organized that you are bound to find something amazing to use in either your classroom or home.
When you first enter the warehouse you are greeted by a die-cut area furnished in part by Ikea. It was amazingly stocked and had fantastic ideas, such as die cutting vinyl cloth (also found at Treasures) so you don’t have to die-cut the same words year after year. They also have a ton of fabric, great for bulletin boards that don’t fade in the Arizona sun. That was my first “why didn’t I think of that?” moment.
As we continued our tour, we came face to face with what I consider the creativity wall. Looking at it I was overwhelmed with possibility. The bins were filled with everything from binders, caps, cassette tapes, CD’s, cups, folders, foam, mylar, paper bags, plastic, sponges, wood, wire, and the list goes on and on. At first I didn’t know what I could make out of all that stuff, but Treasures 4 Teachers has a list of hundreds of ideas, which got my creative juices going.
In this area you can fill your $5 bag with as many goodies as it can hold (no limit on the number of bags). Some items are priced as marked such as a GIANT roll of paper is only $3. Some other items included DVD cases and cloth golf covers (used at dry erase boards and erasers). Low cost hands-on educational kits are another hot ticket item. The pre-assembled kits can be used to teach science/math and have everything you need already made for only a couple bucks.
As a beginning teacher, one of the biggest expenses is establishing a classroom library. As a veteran teacher, the struggle comes with maintaining that library. Treasures receives thousands of donated books, all categorized for members to purchase for only a dollar or two.
You may also notice those amazing pillows atop the shelves…those were made by volunteers and stuffed with packing wrap. They meet district policy for pillows to avoid lice…another amazing find for sale!
Treasures also sells leveled reading books in a group bundle for about $2 for the set.
Book Buddy bags are one of the most popular items. A child’s book is paired with a stuffed animal matching that book’s theme.
In addition to your $5 fill bag, Treasures 4 Teachers has an abundance of FREE items just for being a member. They will announce when they receive a large shipment of an item (the day we were there it was trash cans) and they offer them up to teachers at no cost at all. Treasures was just the recipient of the Target “Buy 1, Get 1” campaign and received ninety three pallets of school supplies. The massive undertaking will require 100 volunteers but will supply teachers with school supplies for their entire class of students (free for being a member).
Where does all this come from?
Many businesses hold fundraisers for non-profit organizations like Treasures 4 Teachers by accepting school supply donations. Treasures sells these items for a fraction of the cost of a traditional store in their price as marked room. Businesses get a tax deduction and happy feelings while the teachers get to shop at discounted rates. If a person/business has more than ten boxes to donate, Treasures will send their truck to pick it up and haul it off. However, if you don’t have a need for your old teaching books/resources you can always drop them off at the warehouse as well.
Becoming a Member
If you pay for the membership, you may be asking why you have to purchase some items instead of all of it being free. This helps keeps people from hoarding and taking more than they need. In order to keep the shelves stocked, Treasures asks people pay a small amount for some items, while offering others totally free.
Did you know that you don’t even have to be a teacher to be a member of Treasures 4 Teachers? I was amazed to learn that anyone who works with children in some capacity can also benefit from a membership, such as boy scouts, girls scouts, church groups, HOMESCHOOLING, etc. All of these groups also spend countless dollars supporting the kiddos and could significantly benefit from low cost supplies.
An annual membership is $35 and has no limit to the amount of visits allowed in addition to all the free giveaways throughout the year. Just think, if a class collected just 1-2 dollars per student they would have a fantastic holiday or end of year gift for their teacher. If a school PTO or organization wants to buy a teacher membership, Treasures accept PO’s.
Treasures 4 Teachers is located 1230 W. Southern Ave, Ste 105 Tempe 85282; Phone is 480-751-1122
They are open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10am-5pm (HINT: They restock after Saturday’s rush so stop by Monday for the best gets), as well as Thursday 10am-7pm.
Enter to win a Treasures 4 Teachers membership AND an entire classroom stock of supplies.
Remember, you don’t have to be a teacher to win! You can work with kids in ANY capacity…or even gift it to your school of choice.