Local art teacher turns to non-profit crowdfunding site to help raise money for supplies for kids

HOUSTON — Back to school shopping is in full swing, with less than two weeks away until the first bell rings.

But for many teachers, like Loren Gardner, who teachers art at Tanglewood Middle School, forking over hundreds of dollars out of their own pockets to spend on supplies for their kids, is a common thing.

"I spent about $300 on average each year. Tanglewood is a Title 1 school, meaning most of the students are socioeconomically disadvantaged," Gardner said.

Gardner is just one of nearly 500 Houston teachers that have now turned to crowdfunding through AdoptAClassroom.org for help.

So far, Gardner said the non-profit organization has helped him raise $750 for more art supplies.

"You want your kids to be successful. I've been doing this for 23 years and I'm not going to stop. And I'm probably not going to change so crowdsource funding helps me get to a place where I can make sure my students are successful," Gardner said.

According to the Education Week Research Center, Houston ISD spends $4,300 less per student than the average school district in the US.

It's a number Gardner hopes will change with more push back.

"It kind of goes back to the legislature and what they want to do. Teachers raises and more funding for the schools would help tremendously," Gardner said.

NewsFix reached out to HISD school officials for comment but did not hear back.

If you're interested in helping out these teachers and their students, you can make a tax deductible donation online at AdoptAClassroom.org.