OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Back-to-school season is expensive – especially for teachers.

Oklahoma educators spend an average of $750 per year out-of-pocket on their classrooms.

That’s where Feed the Children has stepped in the last 10 years – with a shopping spree to help them make the grade.

“I love being able to gift my students with nice pencils and nice notebooks,” said Engelica Davis, a 5th grade teacher in the Putnam City district. “It’s actually quality products that kids can feel special when they have it.”

For the past 10 years, educators from around the state have been drawn to Oklahoma City around this time of year.

“It is worth getting up early on one of my last days of summer every year to do this,” said Sarah Brund, a 5th grade teacher from Enid. 

Feed the Children’s Oklahoma Teacher store has provided more than 6 million pounds of books, classroom supplies, food and personal care items – valued at nearly $60 million.

For teachers – it’s a lifeline – as out-of-pocket expense hit them hard.

From Tuesday to Thursday, 1,750 teachers from more than 230 districts are expected to be served during the grand reopening of Feed the Children’s Teacher Store.

“This is an important part of what we do,” said Gary Sloan, Chief U.S. Operations Officer for Feed the Children. “We want to support the students and the teachers here in Oklahoma.”

The teachers say they’re thankful. 

“I’m extremely grateful,” said Mackenzie Jones, a 3rd grade teacher in the Putnam City district. “There are times I can get books for my kids and they get a present at the beginning of the year. Or we get science stuff that we don’t have access to so it’s super awesome.”

Several corporate sponsors help make this possible.

To see the 2022 shopping schedule and if your school is eligible, visit the Teacher Store Facebook page.