When the floods of 2008 devastated Cedar Rapids and the surrounding areas, we began to lay the groundwork for the Teacher Store, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Fully operational since 2009, the Teacher Store provides free classroom supplies to area K-12 educators when funds are not available, bridging the resource gap between what schools and families can provide and what is needed by the children to be successful in their studies.
In June 2018, the Teacher Store’s original home in downtown Cedar Rapids suffered structural damage, and the building owners decided not to make repairs. After considering several other possible locations, we decided to reinvent the store as a mobile unit, just in time for the start of the 2018/19 school year.
Now on wheels, the Teacher Store can bring supplies directly to teachers at their schools. This new mobility also allows the store to extend its reach to surrounding counties, making it easier for teachers in outlying areas to benefit from the free supplies.
The Teacher Store relies on donations from generous individuals and companies, as well as grant funding, to keep the wheels turning. We accept donations of new supplies, as well as monetary donations that allow us to purchase additional inventory. We also accept donations of gently used large-ticket items, such as desk chairs.
The Teacher Store Board of Directors
Lori Vana (President) — Business Development Manager, Linn Area Credit Union
Curt Gandy (Secretary) — Vice President of Marketing, Linn Area Credit Union
Pat Kadlec (Director) — Cedar Rapids Community School District, Retired
Brian Johnson (Director) — Linn-Mar Community School District
Sarah Hamilton (Director) – Cedar Rapids Community School District
Lacey Becker (Director) – West Branch Community School District
This video tells the story of the founding of the Teacher Store and showcases the former store setting. We were blessed to be in this location up until early 2018: 606 5th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids.
Original Teacher Store building on 606 5th Ave SE
Mobile Teacher Store launched in August 2018