Get free teaching supplies for your classroom or activities room.
Teachers, activity directors, organization leaders, youth group directors, Sunday school teachers, senior centers, private schools, public schools, homeschool co-op’s and more are eligible for free materials.
In the summer of 2017, Art of Recycle was recognized in the Lancaster Chamber's magazine "Lancaster Thriving"
for winning the 2016 #ImpactLancaster challenge with our innovative and successful program "Art is a Necessity". Our program involves distributing free materials to teachers in need of school supplies . Our self-sustaining program has strengthened and developed every year since.
As of October 2021, Art of Recycle has opened a 2500 sf Teacher Resource Center in Ephrata PA. AoR’s free teacher resources are now located in its own facility, adjacent to Art of Recycle’s Thrifty Craft Store.
There is a $35 yearly membership fee to access the resource center.
Craft activities in Ephrata PA
1. There has always been a membership fee to have access to the free resource center. Over the past three years, Art of Recycle had waived the membership fee and covered the expenses of the program with the EIDL loan, because we wanted to help organizations to keep their programs going throughout the pandemic. It was a good decision, because we did keep important programs up and running. We are now out of funds, and can no longer keep the program running without teachers and organizations pitching in again to help the program to continue.
2. Many teachers understand this, and to them, the $35 is worth the thousand of dollars that this program will save them over the cost of the year. For those teachers that cannot afford the $35 fee, but whose programs are dependent on these resources, we have individuals and businesses that have donated the funds that will cover their membership fee in the form of scholarships.
3. We are also enforcing the fee and putting a cap on how many items a person can take from the center based on their needs from the information that we are collecting about their programs and schools, because people have been abusing our program and using the resource center to collect items to sell. Our membership application is now a digital form that helps us to track memberships quickly and more efficiently. The clipboards are being replaced with a digital form that will be easier to track educators needs as well as our inventory. The new digital infrastructure will help us to ensure our donors that the materials that they are donating are indeed going to classrooms and non-profits and not being taken by resellers who are trying to profit off of our program and our staffs hard work.
I hope that answers your question as to why there has always been a $35 fee for a membership, simply because the program costs thousands of dollars a month to maintain and $35 is an inexpensive and affordable amount for a non-profit or teacher to pay when one considers how much it costs to keep any program or classroom running.
4. How did we come up with the number 35? Our impact forms that each teacher turn in after collecting their needed resources has shown that our program financially saves teachers an average of $500 a year out of their own pockets. At the max, some teachers have been receiving, from our centers, up to $5000 in resources for their classrooms, annually. $35 annually, per teacher, helps AoR to sustain the resource program with one part time staff with a below average pay rate. The center needs a minimum of five staff members to run the program. AoR covers the additional cost.
5. There is no program in the entirety of the United States, or in the world, that is providing any programs similar to what Art of Recycle is doing, without grants and large funders. Those programs that do exist are temporary programs that only last until their funding runs out. No one has been able to make these forms of programs sustainable, except Art of Recycle. For a minimal $35 fee.
A thank you to Art of Recycle from Exeter Community Library
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