WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The federal government reports the average public school teacher spends about $500 a year on school supplies.
Some even spend double that. A NEPA teacher faced an even bigger bill to try and provide her students the best. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller shows us how she overcame that financial obstacle to make it happen.
“Have you ever done something just to make someone else happy,” asked Heights Murray Elementary School 5th grade teacher Mary Tranguch.
She knows a thing or two about that. Whether she gathers her 5th-grade creative writing class in a circle or puts them together by combining desks, Mrs. Tranguch works to create a positive atmosphere to help her students excel.
5th grader Caleb Rivera shared his thoughts about the class and said, “You can, like, be with your friends and be in groups and then, like, read to partner work.”
But Mrs. Tranguch knew a better way to help her students learn to write creatively and correctly.
“I would love to have tables for my writing class because it would just offer something very unique and different and create a different learning vibe,” she said.
Mrs. Tranguch started a fundraiser in October called Beyond Their Endless Dreams through donorschoose.org which is a non-profit organization that allows you to donate directly to public classroom projects.
She said, “About six students per table is the size that I requested.”
Mrs. Tranguch wanted to fill her classroom with several round and u-shaped tables and even motivational posters. The total cost? More than $2,100.
“I got a couple donors here and there,” as she described the response in the first two months of the drive.
With the fundraising goal deadline nearing and still $1,000 short, two things happened to help Mrs. Tranguch reach her goal: Giving Tuesday and an anonymous donor.
“I was in disbelief, to be honest with you. I was like someone pinch me,” she said when she learned a single donor helped fully fund her project. It meant everything on her list will be granted.
Heights Murray Elementary School Assistant Principal Aidan McKenna praised Mrs. Tranguch’s passion project. “She saw a need. She asked. She took it upon herself which is awesome and here we are.”
A grateful staff and grateful students like 5th grader Kelen Ramirez who said of Mrs. Tranguch, “That makes me feel that she does really care about the class and ourselves.”
Mrs. Tranguch will soon have those new tools to help her students be their best thanks to a generous public assist. “To get such a reward back it just knows that you’re doing the right thing.”
The new materials will arrive around Christmas at Heights Murray Elementary School. Mrs. Tranguch will have them ready for her students in the new year.