‘Adopt a teacher’ Facebook groups helping educators stock school supplies

At Fruitville Elementary School, kindergarten teacher Jackie Van Liew is preparing for the first day of school. 

"We are trying our best to get everything situated and set up for the students to make it a fun learning but safe environment," she said. 

Staying safe means teaching differently and preparing learning kits for students at home. 

"We have to make everything more on an individual basis instead of a group or shared setting," said Van Liew. 

A former student's parent sent Van Liew a link to a Facebook group called "Adopt a Sarasota County Teacher”

"When I got the invite I was like okay. I have never done this before this is exciting," said Van Liew. 

Teachers post items or a list of things needed for the classroom along with a link of where to purchase. This year items like extra cleaning supplies, masks and air purifiers top teacher's lists. They're also asked to explain why the items are needed and a little about themselves. Then it's left up to the community to step up. 

"I put a list together and Anne, who I do not know, was very generous and bought everything off my list and I was in awe. I was so shocked that somebody doesn't even know me would support my classroom," said Van Liew. 

The movement is spreading from Sarasota County to Hillsborough and beyond. 

"We started to support as many teachers as we can as a family," said Nicole Rissler. 

Nicole Rissler has two daughters in Sarasota Schools. She immediately logged on to help. 

"Anything I can do to help their lives be a little easier this fall, help teaching my kids and other kids is really important for me," she said. 

Stepping in to help one another, showing the community has not forgotten. 

"It is so appreciated and so generous of them and that kind little act goes a long way for us," said Van Liew. 

To learn more about adopting a teacher visit:

  • Click here to adopt a Pinellas County teacher.
  • Click here to adopt a Sarasota County teacher
  • Click here to adopt a Manatee County teacher.
  • Click here to adopt a Hillsborough County teacher.