One teacher’s trash is another teacher’s treasure — and what better way to exchange unwanted school supplies with fresh learning materials than with a teacher swap meet?
The Cresson Wrench at 9501 Lancaster St., is hosting its first ever Teacher Prep Rally from 12-8 p.m. on Saturday, July 29.
“Our oldest daughter, London Durant, is a teacher in Eastland ISD, and we see firsthand how much of themselves teachers put into their classroom and students,” said Bambi Bridges, owner of The Cresson Wrench. “I thought it would be really cool to have a free swap meet for teachers, because I imagine almost all of them have leftover goodies that somebody else can use, and they can just swap.”
The event will allow teachers who are retiring, changing course, or simply decluttering to bring any unwanted or unused classroom items, supplies, and decorations to the event and trade them with another local teacher who might need them.
As The Cresson Wrench is centrally located between Fort Worth ISD, Granbury ISD, Weatherford ISD, and Cleburne ISD, teachers from all four districts can come to the event to swap their school supplies.
“Teachers are such an undervalued resource, and we want to offer a way for them to come together and share the load,” Bridges said. “There are so many families who are unable to send supplies to school with their children and the teachers are the ones who reach into their own pockets to make it happen.”
The steps for the event are simple — simply load up your trunk with unneeded supplies, drive to The Cresson Wrench, open your trunk, and trade away.
Door prizes will be given away hourly, and teachers will receive vendor discounts all day long during the event.
"We're also going to have vendors out like we do every third Saturday, except this time, there is no booth fee,” Bridges said. “We're just asking that since they're not paying a booth fee that they give our teachers a 20% discount on anything that they want to buy, whether it's school-related stuff, or a candle.”
The event will also feature live music and public speakers, like Weatherford College Education Instructor Carolyn Boggs, and educators Pat Hardy and Taylor Mali.
“(Boggs is) going to talk about culture in the classroom and she's very well versed with this,” Bridges said. “She's gotten many, many teachers in this area ready to teach.”
The Hood County Bookmobile will also be on hand from 12-3 p.m., helping students sign up for library cards and check books out.
THE TEXAS PLYTHIAN HOME
“Aside from that, we’ve coordinated with The Texas Pythian Home, Inc., in Weatherford where we’ll have a big Back to School Bash,” Bridges added. “We will be having a Fill the Trailer Supply Drive, so hopefully we just get bombarded with goodies so we can donate them to the Pythian.”
According to pythianhome.org, The Texas Pythian Home opened on March 1, 1909, as a home for widows and orphans of Knights of Pythias members. Today, The Texas Pythian Home, Inc. provides a safe, stable environment for children to grow physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually to become responsible, independent adults.
"It's kind of near and dear to us because London's husband, our son in law, his mother grew up there, and when London first started teaching, she taught in Weatherford ISD, and she taught at an elementary school that was directly across the street from the Pythian Home,” Bridges explained. “This has kind of just all turned into one thing that wove into another, so the teachers and the orphanage and everything has tied itself together for us.”
Donations needed for The Texas Pythian Home can range anywhere from school supplies like Ziplock bags, glue sticks, and index cards to kitchen and bathroom supplies like toilet paper, laundry soap, and cotton swabs.
For those who are not teachers, Bridges said they are welcome to donate other basic supply items for teachers like paper, pens, markers, extra paint, or any other supplies that are lying around the house.
"I'm just hoping that it's such a big deal,” Bridges added. “I hope that it's a really big deal for teachers and I hope that it's a really big deal for the Pythian Home.”