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Library book sale hoping to help Oklahoma teachers

OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s no secret; teachers across Oklahoma could use a little bit of help.

For years, teachers have been asking Oklahoma lawmakers to find a way to fund a pay raise for educators across the state.

When another legislative session came to a close without a teacher pay raise, many educators decided to leave the classroom or the Sooner State for better pay.

Shawn Sheehan, who was named Oklahoma’s Teacher of the Year in 2016, announced that he made the decision to move south of the Red River to make more money in the classroom.

“At the end of the day, the simple truth is that we can be paid a respectable wage for doing the same job- this job we love very much- by heading out of state. I’m sorry it’s come to this, but I will leave with my head held high. I poured my heart and soul into my teaching at Norman High School. I represented our state at the highest level. I tried to help find funding sources via SQ 779. I ran for state senate. I started a non-profit focused on teacher recruitment and retention that has spread nationwide. I’ve done everything I know how to do to try and make things better. We could stay, but it would cost our family – specifically our sweet baby girl. My wife and I are not willing to do that. We, like you, want what’s best for our children and she deserves to grow up in a state that values education. And so do your children,” Sheenan wrote.

For teachers who decided to stay in Oklahoma, many are being forced to pay for supplies out of their own pockets.

Teresa Dank, a third grade teacher in Tulsa, turned to panhandling to help raise money for school supplies.

“It all adds up week after week, and month after month,” she said. “So it’s a huge need.”

Now, a local group is hoping to help teachers and students through the gift of reading.

Each year, Friends of the Metropolitan Library System hosts a massive book sale at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds.

In addition to raising money for libraries across the metro, the group is also hoping to help Oklahoma teachers.

“We LOVE our teachers! Tell a teacher you know that Sunday after the booksale closes, he or she can come in and grab books for classrooms, libraries (or summer break!) FOR FREE! #OKCBooksale2018 #teachersarethebest #okc,” Friends of the Metropolitan Library System wrote on Facebook.

This year’s sale runs from Friday, Feb. 23 through Sunday, Feb. 25.

Friday’s sale is only for members and runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday are open to the general public from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.