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VIDEO: Refresh Your Classroom for Free at the First Annual WeROC Swap Shop

May 17, 2024

Tired of spending your own money to properly decorate your classroom? Have schoolroom supplies you no longer need but don’t want to waste? Then mark your calendars for the inaugural WeROC Swap Shop, with key dates on May 31-June 1 and June 4.  

During the Swap Shop, educators can donate gently used classroom supplies and “shop” donations from their colleagues. Every item at the Swap Shop will be free. Amanda Martinez and the other organizers of the event put it together with union members in the Idaho Education Association’s Western Region Operating Center (WeROC) in mind, but any educator is welcome to participate. 

“I am so excited for Swap Shop,” says Martinez, Parma Education Association. Martinez is also part of IEA’s Growing Engaged Members initiative (GEMs), which provides members special training about how to engage fellow members in union work. “This is such an amazing opportunity for teachers to get new-to-them classroom decorations or other supplies that teachers are always spending their money on.”  


IEA Region 3 Director Tracylea Balmer says the Swap Shop will help fill a need that’s unique to educators. “Education is one of the few professions where the staff pour their own funding and supplies into ensuring the needs of their stakeholders, students, are met,” Balmer says. “Every year, teachers spend hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of dollars of their own personal money to make their classrooms comfortable and enjoying learning environments and to ensure there are enough supplies for their lesson plans.” 

Anyone is welcome to donate gently used classroom supplies and decor to Swap Shop. Furniture will not be accepted due to space limitations. Here are the key dates for Swap Shop: 

May 31 and June 1: Donations accepted at the Idaho Education Association headquarters, 620 N. 6th Street, Boise. Drop-off hours will be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.  

June 4: Swap Shop open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at IEA. Members may bring one additional person to the Swap Shop.  

Whether you’re moving classrooms, retiring or just clearing out what you don’t need, your donation can help other educators. “It is also a great opportunity to give away things that you aren’t using any longer and know the items will be used again and put to good use,” Martinez says.  

 You can RSVP or volunteer for the Swap Shop by clicking here. 

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