CHICAGO (CBS) — Ever wonder where teachers get the supplies they need to decorate their classroom and educate their students?
Inside a 2,700-square-foot storefront in Bucktown, 1855 N. Milwaukee Ave., you’ll find just about everything you need.
“We’re pretty much known as being a teacher resource store,” said Belinda Carucci, the owner of The Chicago Teacher Store.
It’s a teacher supply store run by teachers.
Everything from maps, to books, to letter boards and craft supplies, Carucci says it’s unique to Chicago.
“My store has been here for 15 years, and I’ve watched probably three of them lose their steam, so we’re the last one in Chicago,” she said.
A former CPS teacher, Carucci says she used to spend hundreds even thousands on her classroom each year.
“I just knew other teachers were spending, maybe not that much but every teacher wants their classroom environment to be a warm, friendly, colorful exciting place so they do a lot of the decorating.”
Today, the staplers and tape are out in full force as Carucci and her manager Maura Waldron show off their latest creation, a black history month bulletin board.
“They want different bulletin boards for the subjects they’re teaching, and it’s great for students have something fun to look at while their learning,” said Waldron.
In a time when people tend to favor online purchases, Carucci says there’s still something attractive about a local specialty shop which keeps them thriving.
Carucci said her store is about sharing ideas and swapping success stories which she says makes it all worthwhile–even if she’s no longer in the classroom.
“We’re all in it together, and if we can help one teacher who is struggling with an idea, with management, it’s all good.”
Chicago Teacher is also promoting 2013 with a classroom makeover giveaway.
They are hoping to grant the wish of a well deserving teacher who could use a fresh look in their current classroom. All videos and photos can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org