GS early child education graduate finds way to help her peers

Tara Bailey

A recent Georgia Southern University graduate has created a program to give recently graduated education majors a starter kit of classroom supplies.

After graduation, education majors not only have to look for a job, but they will also have to finance most of their classroom supplies as well.

This was an issue that Brandi Jackson, a recent GS early childhood education graduate, noticed while working at Bulloch County schools to finish her field requirements for her major.

Jackson, who is now pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood education with a concentration in reading and teaching in the Fulton County School district, started this campaign idea of making classroom starter kits for early childhood education graduates in the Spring of 2017.

“It is kinda hard getting those supplies when you are just trying to find a job and get a classroom,” Jackson said. “Most schools will give you some starter supplies, but you still…there’s other things that you personally need, and so, basically, the gift baskets was to kinda help assist my peers in getting those basic necessities that they probably couldn’t get right off the bat without their first paycheck and things like that.”

Last semester when 33 early childhood graduates received a classroom pin, they each also received a classroom starter kit to help them get started. Each of these classroom starter kits included things like, glue sticks, hand sanitizers, markers, and crayons.

Jackson knew that she wanted to make the transition easier for her peers, so she first went to social media to ask people to help raise money towards the cause. She also went to John Ramfjord, the director of annual giving, to start this campaign.

“After seeing Brandi Jackson’s passion for the project, I wanted to assist her with it moving forward,” Ramfjord said. “This campaign gives our alumni an opportunity to give back to the College of Education and allows them to directly impact the next generation of educators.”

Although many schools do contribute towards classroom supplies, many teachers still have to spend money out of their own pockets just to make sure they have everything that they will need.

A study done by the National Center for Education Statistics in the 2006-2007 school year found approximately how much a teacher will spend out of their own pocket to purchase classroom supplies. For the state of Georgia, the amount was a total of $410. This money is spent without reimbursement.

Although classroom kits were only given to early childhood education graduates last semester, both Jackson and Ramfjord hope to expand this campaign to all education majors.

The Spring 2018 campaign will launch this March, and they are both asking that if people wish to donate money towards the cause, to do so on their website.

For more information about the campaign or about how to get involved, please contact Brandi Jackson at [email protected] or John Ramfjord.