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Teacher Launches Shopping Site For Educators

The Bay Area’s first free online marketplace for teaching supplies has recently been created by a Lomita Park teacher.

A Lomita Park Elementary School second grade teacher has launched a new website that aims to change the way Bay Area teachers think about school supplies shopping.

"It is like Craigslist for teachers," Mary Loung said of her new venture.

A Millbrae teacher of 10 years, Loung said she came up with the idea when a construction project in her school required teachers to clear out their classrooms temporarily, which resulted in piles of unwanted school supplies without a home.

"It got to the point where the principal said, 'I'm so sorry, but I'm going to have to throw this away.'"

A light bulb went off for Loung, and now, she has launched Educycle, a free site that allows teachers to shop for school supplies at a discounted price from others with school-oriented materials in the area who are looking to get rid of the items.

Users can easily sort items by category, location, school subject and price.

So far, Loung says, it's working. A teacher in the East Bay recently went on and bought a stack of three-ring binders; her husband's company put a printer up for sale and received a request from a local school district.

She says that a lot of people are coming to the site looking to buy items, and the immediate need is to spread the word so that more sellers will put up items to meet the demand.

Loung may try expanding the site beyond the Bay Area some day, but for now, she's staying local.

"I’m not making any money from it, and it's been from my own savings," she said. "I wanted to see if it would work."

This month Educycle is hosting a launch and swap party, in collaboration with San Francisco-based Scrap, an organization that collects scrap materials and makes them available for parents, teachers and artists.  The event will be Sept. 23 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Fontana Room at 1050 North Point in San Francisco.

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Beatrice Karnes September 10, 2012 at 06:01 PM
What a great idea! I'm passing the word.

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