Teachers Closet opens for Dayton ISD educators

Jessica Sims with the Dayton Chamber of Commerce and Pct. 4 Commissioner Leon Wilson display some of the items donated to the Teachers Closet at the Dayton Community Center.

What started out as dinner talk about their niece and her having to pay for classroom supplies from her own pocket became an effort to make a difference for local students. Prompted by that discussion, Amanda Wilson and her husband, Pct. 4 County Commissioner Leon Wilson, first considered giving their niece money or helping extended family members who are teachers. Instead it turned into a labor of love that will benefit all Dayton ISD teachers.

The Wilsons decided to start a Dayton Teacher’s Closet to help provide much-needed supplies to Dayton ISD teachers at no cost to the teacher. Amanda, who works as a Community Services Administrator for the Dayton Community Center, knew that the leadership team at the Community Center would be all in. They reached out to Journey Fellowship Church to gauge their interest in partnering with them in bringing the Teacher’s Closet to Dayton. Journey Fellowship supported the idea as well, as they were already doing something similar, and talks began to happen and plans formulated.  

The Teachers Closet can be found in the Dayton Community Center and teachers can visit anytime between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  If a teacher needs to make special after-hours arrangements, all they need to do is call the Community Center to arrange a time to “shop.” All items in The Closet are always free to teachers; they just need to bring their Dayton ISD ID badge.

Because this is a community-provided service, Dayton community, businesses and churches are encouraged to help. Donations may be dropped off at the Dayton Community Center at 801 S. Cleveland St. or at the County Commissioner’s office located at 1034 CR 605, Dayton.

On average, teachers spend several hundred dollars each year to decorate their classrooms and buy supplies that they know the students will need. People outside of the education world really do not know what a teacher must do in order to get ready for the start of school, and how much of an out-of-pocket expense it is to teachers. The Teacher’s Closet is a great way to help the teachers with those extra expenses, and a great way for the community to help provide for their schools.

“Dayton ISD would like to thank County Commissioner Leon Wilson and his wife Amanda, along with Journey Fellowship for bringing this service to our teachers. It truly is an amazing act of kindness and one that is very much appreciated by all of Dayton ISD. The Dayton community is such a giving community to our schools and teachers, and we know that The Closet will be a huge success,” according to a statement from Jeff Nations, a spokesperson for Dayton ISD.

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