By: Sherry Williams Kidd | Twitter: @DinwiddieMonitr
Posted: August 28, 2019 | 1:45 p.m.
It originated from a single county resident, Betty Hatton, who had heard about teachers using their own money to purchase school supplies for kids of families that could not afford them. Betty thought that this continuing hardship on teachers was outrageous, and felt that county residents should also do their part in helping these teachers provide the supplies needed by their students. So, she decided to do something about it. Sometimes, it only takes a seed.
“I am blown away by the great residents of Dinwiddie County and their generosity,” remarked Tammy Bartlett, Grade 6 History/Science Teacher, Dinwiddie Middle School. “As we all know, it takes a village to raise a child, and the stronger the bonds between schools and the community, the better we can serve our students. I was contacted via Facebook messenger on July 30th by Betty Hatton, who had seen the national #SupportATeacher movement. Mrs. Hatton had searched the national group, then the Virginia group, in search of a way to gift locally here in Dinwiddie. She reached out to me as I had started a thread for Dinwiddie teachers on the Virginia page. Mrs. Hatton’s request to me was quite simple. She asked only that I help her find a way to connect with Dinwiddie teachers because she had a lot of community residents that would like to help.”
Bartlett got up the next morning to discover a message from Hatton stating that she and her daughter, Brittany Ratliff, had created a Facebook page, and they asked for Bartlett’s help connecting Dinwiddie teachers. Bartlett tagged as many teachers as she had on her friend list, and asked them to help spread the word. The word spread like wildfire, and the supplies for the teachers and their students began pouring in.
Tammy Bartlett, 6th grade science teacher, with donated supplies. (Tammy Bartlett)
“Things just kind of took off from there,” remarked Bartlett. “As of right now, there are 710 members, teachers and donors, and the outpouring of support is amazing! I don’t think they truly realize what an impact each donation has on our classrooms and our students. Last year my students shared six pair of scissors because nobody had their own, and I only had six pair in the room. Today, I received a package with 12 pair! While that may not seem like much, it will make a huge dent in the time it takes for all my students to complete a task that requires cutting. Pencils, highlighters, dry erase markers, beakers, and graduated cylinders for experiments, are all things that I have already been gifted by this wonderful group. I am truly humbled and so thankful. These supplies are priceless to me. I want my students to be limited only by their imaginations, not the supplies they might not have.”