Back to School: Teachers Finding Classroom Materials from Donated Items

Purchasing supplies for a classroom can ring up a hefty bill for teachers. In this age of constant budget cuts, teachers are finding ways to reuse and recycle. Our Alese Underwood shows us how the Spare Parts Fair encourages sustainability and gives teachers a chance to use their imaginations.

BALCONES HEIGHTS, Texas -- You never know what you can build unless you let your mind get creative, and that's what tons of teachers from across San Antonio do at the Spare Parts Fine Arts Fair.

This year more than 160 teachers from San Antonio to Austin, sorted through three tons of donated materials at the fair.

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As school budgets get tighter, over the past six years the fair has become a major outlet for teachers to find extra classroom materials.

Organizers say it's a great way to promote sustainability and creativity.

"When you throw things away, before you do that, stop and think about how it could either be repaired, repurposed, used in another way. Really, we should be thinking twice about putting something in the trash," said Spare Parts Fair Founder Mary Elizabeth Cantu.

Last year the fair impacted nearly 20,000 students in 15 school districts around San Antonio.

"We have a giveaway every year where we register 100 teachers and artists that need supplies that we can bring to thanks to community members and organizations city-wide," said Cantu.

This year marked the 6th year for the Spare Parts Fair.

It's the only organization in the local community that provides an outlet for teachers to reuse and recycle art materials.

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