The members of the Grand Forks Education Association hosted their first-ever School Supply Swap & Sell at the Hilton Garden Inn on Thursday, Oct. 11. Educators and vendors were able to sell or swap their wares to and with their fellow members of GFEA.

“We wanted to host the Teacher Sell & Swap for two primary purposes,” said Amanda Weston Cailler, president of GFEA. “First, we want to help support the teachers’ side businesses! Teachers work hard, and often must supplement their income. We want to buy from them! Secondly, we wanted an opportunity to educate our teachers on membership benefits and rights and give them a chance to connect to the NDU chapter and the local chapter. Thirdly, we wanted some fellowship! To get to know teachers from other buildings.”

Vendors on hand filled every table in the room. “We had a wonderful array of vendors: Tupperware, make-up, clothing, jewelry, informational booths from NEA, NDU and Horace Mann Insurance,” Weston Caillier said. “We also had retired teachers who wanted to give away their curriculums, math manipulatives, books, etc.”

The GFEA Supply Swap follows a similar event by the Bismarck Education Association in August, and is a great opportunity for our local education associations to bring members together, to help stock new educators’ classrooms with supplies and allow retiring educators to pass on a career’s worth of tools and resources that they have shared with students. “Collaboration is KEY to education! Many hands make the work light,” Weston Caillier said.

GFEA plans to host another Supply Swap next year, and would love to see more members come out and sell & swap their classroom supplies. “We would love to host another sell & swap,” Weston Caillier said. “We plan to do so in April when teachers are doing spring cleaning and clearing out their goods in their classrooms. We are also hoping to help support pre-service teachers who are finishing up their student teaching and getting ready to get supplies for their future classrooms!”

  • Story and photos by Kelly Hagen, NDU Communications.