A new school year means it’s time for new school supplies. Art teachers, like E. Jay Sims, say many times educators have to get creative.
"Well I only have a limited budget, so I'm trying to break out and add some new stuff to my curriculum," said Sims, an Art Teacher at Bronx Collegiate Academy.
So, Sims does most of her back-to-school shopping at the Materials for the Arts warehouse in Long Island City. It's full of donated supplies and materials and it's all free for public school teachers. Kendra Brown left with a shopping cart full of supplies for her students.
"It could be recycled, it could be fabric, it can be school supplies like we found today, which you definitely need. And we can pass on to our colleagues," said Brown, a Visual Arts Teacher at PS 154X.
Materials for the Arts is operated by the city's Department of Cultural Affairs with additional support from the Departments of Sanitation and Education.
"We support arts and culture, we support public schools and we help keep things from going into the landfill," said Harriet Taub, the Executive Director of Materials for the Arts.
Teachers also come for the inspiration. Materials for the Arts holds free workshops year round.
"You learn just by exploring different materials and different simple techniques that you really can create almost anything to highlight any part of your curriculum," said Joy Suarez, a Master Teaching Artist for Materials for the Arts.
She says the workshops and classes can help teachers find fun project ideas for their students that won't break the bank.
"You can be super creative using really alternative materials and create, as you saw in the warehouse, really amazing props, sets, costumes, books. You know, it goes on and on."
For more information head to mfta.org