Recently, several homeschooling families of Gadsden County met in a room at the Havana Public Library to distribute school supplies amongst themselves.
Tables in the room were filled with textbooks, reading materials, binders of teacher education materials, educational posters, lesson guides, and more.
The distribution was made possible thanks to a retired school teacher, who had reached out to local homeschoolers when she decided to downsize her collection of educational materials.
“Most of this was from one donor,” said Renee Sasser, one of Gadsden County’s homeschooling parents and the parent who arranged the supply distribution.
While the teacher wished to remain anonymous, Sasser said she taught in Fort Braden.
“She’d kept everything for years and years, but she was moving,” said Sasser, adding that the teacher needed to downsize her collection of educational materials, so her daughter reached out to local homeschoolers to see if anyone would be interested in the materials.
Sasser became the liaison between the local Gadsden County homeschoolers and the teacher, and helped arrange the free distribution of supplies.
“She is very passionate about education, and wanted it to go to use,” said Sasser. “She had materials I’d never even thought about bringing into my home classroom,”
Sasser spoke with other homeschooling families in Gadsden County, and they arranged a time to meet so that the parents could look through the materials and take home what they needed for the upcoming school year.
Sasser said she and her family arrived at the library around mid-morning on June 16, took a few minutes to set up, and had a pretty steady flow of local homeschoolers coming in and out of the room to pick up supplies.
While Gadsden County does not have an official homeschool group, they do have a group of parents who remain in touch and arrange field trips and events for their families – such as the supply distribution.
While COVID set the group back a bit in terms of field trips and extracurricular activities, Sasser says the families are looking forward to doing more again.
“We want to plan on doing more!” said Sasser.
In order to do that, the unofficial group needs more parents to get involved, reach out for field trips, and network with one another.
For local parents interested in learning more about the Gadsden County homeschoolers, there is a local Facebook group – Homeschooling In Gadsden County – where Sasser and the other parents stay connected.
As for the distribution, Sasser says the remaining supplies left over after the homeschooler distribution – if any – were sent to the Salvation Army or other nonprofits in order to help others find what they need to educate their children.
Ashley Hunter – firstname.lastname@example.org