About Teachers’ Treasures
Who was your favorite teacher growing up? We bet you can think of that special person almost immediately!
Teachers’ Treasures is nurturing this generation’s group of favorite teachers so that our students are prepared for the road to come. Teachers’ Treasures was founded in 2000 by a retired school principal, Phyllis Imel, who wished to continue helping the at-risk children in the community succeed in school. The “free store for teachers” opened in a small unused area in the basement of Washington Community School on the near Westside. A dedicated staff of volunteers began seeking product and financial contributions which could be used to provide teachers with the educational supplies and materials needed by the children in their classrooms. As awareness and interest grew throughout the educational and business communities, so did the need for more room. This need was met by Kroger, who leased a former store at 1800 E. 10th Street to the organization for a nominal fee. In September 2007, Teachers’ Treasures opened a new location almost three times larger than the original space.
Teachers’ Treasures Global Language Library
Today, Marion County serves a large population of culturally diverse students. For example, from 1970 to 2020, there has been a 328% increase in the foreign-born population. As of December 2021, Indianapolis is home to over 26,000 immigrants with limited English proficiency. Through surveys and conversations, Teachers’ Treasures identified a great need within classrooms for books that represent the wide variety of languages and cultures of students coming to Marion County from all around the world.
Therefore, to serve the educational needs of a larger population of students, Teachers’ Treasures officially opened The Global Language Library (GLL) in their 1800 E. 10th Street location on International Literacy Day- September 8th, 2022. Soon after, a second GLL was opened in their Northwest Middle School location. Teachers now can select books for their students to use in their classrooms and at home. They’ve currently given out over 3,000 books but will need over 5,000 to keep up with projected demand this year.
The Teachers’ Treasures GLL offers books representing a global assortment of languages – including Spanish, French, Arabic, and Japanese – reading levels, and cultures to teachers throughout Marion County. By providing a source for a broad selection of books in various languages, Teachers’ Treasures will be serving specific curriculum needs as well as promoting emotional wellness, inclusion, and growth.
How You Can Help
There are several ways to help support the growth of The Global Language Library. Amazing books can be purchased from Teachers’ Treasures’ Amazon Wishlist and Book Shop.org. Purchasing books ensures shelves are always stocked with diverse material for teachers to choose from. Buying multiple copies of the same books from these platforms also allows teachers to create fun and engaging classroom sets. Additionally, Teachers’ Treasures has implemented an appointment-based donation system through which they accept new, unopened products and pre-approved, gently used office items.
Volunteers also play a vital role in the success of Teachers’ Treasures. There are several opportunities in which volunteers can contribute by: Providing guidance to teachers while shopping and assisting with daily store maintenance including bundling product, cleaning, and organizing.
Lastly, monetary donations ensure that Marion County teachers consistently have access to the critical supplies they need, beyond books, without reaching into their own pockets.
By: Julie Johnson, Marketing & Communications Intern