WACO, Texas – As teachers prepare for the upcoming school year, having a fully supplied classroom becomes more urgent.
Troubadour for Teachers is a group of country artists’ wives coming together to start a program which would supply teachers for what they need in their classrooms.
Elementary Special Education teacher Lauren Stahlman is one of the many teachers who sent their classroom wish list to Troubadours – and everything she needed was donated overnight.
“It was extremely exciting, because I know that I’ll have those materials to start the school year,” Stahlman said. “That means a lot to me!”
Taylor Abbott is one of the team members who came up with the idea, and she is happy to give back in this way.
“I mean, the fact that people educating our kids are having to pay out of pocket for the necessary supplies to teach them properly, or to make the room feel inviting, is not right,” Abbott said. “They should not be reaching into their own pockets.”
Stahlman started a new project at her school for special needs students, and has been trying to raise money for it since April – then she came across Troubadours for Teachers on Instagram.
“I just, I care about my students so much. I would do absolutely anything if I knew it helps them in any way,” Stahlman said. “It didn’t even have to be academically.”
Abbott noticed teachers were asking her, her husband and other artists to help with their classroom supply list more than ever before, and they wanted to step in to help.
“I decided, ‘Why don’t we all, like, a big collective group, get together? Let’s post about it. Let’s raise as much as we can. Let’s draw awareness to this problem that we have, and let’s do something major about it,'” Abbott said.
“I really think that community and support behind education is really important,” Stahlman said. “It really helps teachers feel valued and seen and like, ‘Okay, somebody else sees that this is an issue, that we’re having to spend this money.'”
Abbott says they have already received hundreds of emails since launching the project just yesterday. She hopes to see this organization grow with more artists in more states getting involved.
“Our end goal with this, you know, you have to start a little bit smaller. But I think after this year, all kind of [people will be] coming together and focusing in and working as a team. It will help us be able to branch out,” Abbott said.