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Teacher creates 'take what you need' station to help students as they return to school

Melissa Blair Tracy wanted to help her students as much as she could as they returned to in-person class.

Teacher creates 'take what you need' station to help students as they return to school
Image source: Twitter/lisslblair Insert: Twitter/KeeksYosup

Teachers are one of the most underpaid professions, especially for one that's entrusted to shape and guide the next generation. The values of a good teacher were never in question but they are appearing to go beyond what's expected of them, to help their students during difficult times. The pandemic caused a health and financial crisis that had widespread ramifications felt in every home and naturally the kids were just as affected as their parents. After almost a year of online learning, students are returning to in-person learning and teachers are aware of the issues bothering them. 



 

 

One teacher, Melissa Blair Tracy, is providing key supplies to students in what she calls a "Take what you need station." The supplies are not limited to just school but basic things that students might need on a day-to-day basis. She created a set of trays with items that any of her students could take for free. The items ranged from tissues, pads, tampons, Band-aid, lotion, deodorants, and snacks among other things. Tracy's goal is simple: To help them as much she can. Melissa Blair Tracy posted an image of the items, hoping to share an idea with people and many hoped other teachers would be encouraged to do something similar as well. 

Many praised her for being so helpful and wished they had such considerate teachers when they were growing up. "Hell yeah, wish I had one of these growing up being in school," wrote one person, before adding, "I grew up poor and couldn't really afford to get pads and what and was doing the toilet paper method which failed one day in class the school nurse was rude like I inconvenienced her and made a point to tell me to bring them in a very rude way. I'll never forget all I said back was okay. I was embarrassed and ashamed really. Those kids will hella appreciate your kindness."



 

 



 

 

Another person added, "Honestly, good on you for doing this for your students. Oftentimes, I know it's hard for students to open up about what they need, deodorant, pads, anything basic they need. All because parents cannot afford it or they don't have them at that moment. It makes getting through school so much easier. Thank you for doing this for your students," they wrote.



 

 

One proud mother shared how her son used to stock up on supplies for his classmates. "My son had a backpack with items such as bandaids, small bills, tampons, small deodorants, gum, and snacks for his fellow classmates. He told me about it when he was a senior. I had no idea. The thing is, we are poor — but he saw more poverty than ours at school. Always wanted to help," they wrote. Another person tweeted a personal story, writing. "My mom got a job as essentially a school nurse/office helper/behavioral interventionist and she built up a whole room of clean clothes and toiletries for kids and then got the school a grant to buy a washer and dryer for kids who wet their clothes or come in dirty stuff."



 

 

There have been countless stories of teachers stepping up to help their students and they deserve the world (and good pay). As we reported, Kindergarten teacher Laurie Gurdal  has been helping feed 22 children from her class. She started providing food after she once asked her students to write down their dreams and one child said they dreamed of having a refrigerator full of food. "That broke my heart," said Gurdal. "He didn't have any food to go home to." 

 



 

 

"Once I gave them the food, it felt like they had a reason to come to school, and they were more excited to be there," said Gurdal. "It really perked them up." Gurdal knew she couldn't go on buying snacks for them but it was vital for them. She is a single mother to two girls aged 14 and 21, and had spent more than $500 to help support her students. "It was getting expensive," said Gurdal.



 

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