Our Northwest

Schoolhouse Supplies making a difference one teacher at a time

Monday, May 25, 2015by  Amy Tolentino

We recently had the chance to visit one of our favorite Portland nonprofits, Schoolhouse Supplies, and host the ever-popular Saturday Shopping Day that takes place at the Free Store for teachers. With help from the WALLY team, Schoolhouse Supplies can extend its shopping hours, and will host a Saturday morning shop on a quarterly basis.

While at the Free Store, I met many Portland educators, including Joe Maddocks, an Engineering Design teacher at Jackson Middle School, who has been teaching in the Portland district for 26 years.

For Mr. Maddocks, Schoolhouse Supplies provides a critical resource for connecting his students with the tools they need to succeed in his hands-on shop class. With many of his students coming from lower-income families, he’s thankful he can provide supplies to his students with Schoolhouse Supplies’ help. Mr. Maddocks has been shopping at Schoolhouse Supplies for four years, and says it's made a huge difference in the types of supplies — and often unconventional materials — he has available to teach middle schoolers. Before the store opened, he was mostly supported by the school PTA, or paid for items out of his own pocket.

This time around, he snagged large, black poster boards, which he plans to use as the base for his students’ epic volcano project. As an Engineering Design teacher, he can use his creativity for all kinds of projects. He pondered over the 250 water bottles that were donated to Schoolhouse Supplies and thought of his next class project: a bottle rocket or water-filled tornado project – the opportunities are endless!

The passion Mr. Maddocks has for teaching his students is undeniable, and it’s organizations like Schoolhouse Supplies that help make it possible for educators to make a difference. 

Here is Mr. Maddocks shows us teaching is all about fun! He loves all the items the Free Store has to offer, including a wheel and toy snake!

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