By Makenzie O'Keefe


(CBS4) – School supplies can be expensive, even for teachers. To make sure a local teacher was back-to-school ready, an online community helped her out before the first day of school.

(credit: CBS)

“Almost all of the items here were donated to me,” explained Nicki Degucz, a kindergarten teacher at Asbury Elementary School.

Early this summer, Dehucz began planning out her classroom and the supplies she needed for her students this upcoming school year. She realized her students could use some extra resources to learn and grow, but knew it would be expensive to purchase it all.

“We always pull out of our pocket for this kind of stuff,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

Degucz decided to post on the Nextdoor app for some items she needed. She asked for things such as felt boards, magazine holders, legos and even blocks. Most of her requests were items for what she calls “purposeful play.”

“In my classroom we spend 30 minutes doing purposeful play such as using blocks or building things,” she said. “I know that time is so vital to their social emotional efforts and their learning to interact with others.”

Neighbors in the area were quick to help. Degucz said the response to her classroom supplies list was overwhelming.

This isn’t the first time she’s turned to the community for a helping hand. She did the same last year, and a retired teacher donated an entire book library to Degucz’s classroom.

“That was just shock,” she laughed. “It just filled our car to the brim and her husband was rejoicing because they got out of their garage space.”

(credit: CBS)

Degucz said thanks to the community’s support her students will be ready to learn and grow without breaking her bank.

“I’m so thankful to the community and the neighborhoods for all the help they give,” she said, smiling.

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Makenzie O'Keefe

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