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Facebook page ‘Adopt a Sarasota County Teacher’ helps educators get school supplies

SARASOTA, Fla. — Thousands of teachers have joined the “Adopt a Sarasota County Teacher” Facebook group to help educators get supplies for their classrooms.

Teachers post their Amazon wish lists containing school supplies.

Anyone may purchase these items for teachers.

“This year, we have to have individual items for each of our kids. They can’t share, which is really hard,” said Pat-e Gillezeau, a Sarasota County teacher.

Pat-e Gillezeau will be teaching students with special needs. She taught several years with the Hillsborough County Public Schools. She created the Facebook page after seeing similar pages in other school districts.

“I saw Hillsborough County started a page. I was like, ‘Let me see if Sarasota County has a page.’ And they didn’t, so I was going to start a page. I really had no idea it was going to take off like this. I thought a few people here and there,” she said.

Shanandoah Wynn Swinn has taught for more than five years in Sarasota County.

She said she is eager to return to the classroom.

“My mom was a teacher and she was amazing. I had some of the best teachers that there ever were and I literally got out of college and I couldn’t think of doing anything else, except teaching the next generation. I love it,” Swinn said.

Swinn bought several books for her classroom. She is also asking for more books on her Amazon list.

“I bought a bunch of things to try and make the classroom engaging and safe and healthy, but there’s just such a need for it,” said Swinn.

Educators said they are grateful for the community support and appreciate any supplies they receive.

“Very eager to get back in the classroom. I’ve missed my kids even though I’ll have a completely new batch. I’ve missed having my students and helping them. I’ve missed the routine of it and I know they missed the routine too. The hardest part is going to be not hugging them all when we come back to school,” said Swinn.

Students return to the classroom on August 31 in Sarasota County.

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