EL CENTRO, Calif. - Getting school supplies can be hard for educators, especially if it’s coming out of their own pockets.
That's why an Imperial Valley wrestling group, Venue Wrestling Entertainment (VWE) is holding a school supply drive to help preschool teachers prepare for the upcoming school year.
Andy Villagrana, a student at the dojo and educator, said teachers end up spending hundreds of dollars each year just on school supplies.
"It all costs money. It could go up to maybe $500 to 600. And without even seeing it. It doesn't hurt because it's educating the children. But it is also a burden on the families to be spending a lot of that money which could be going to something else." said Villagrana.
Teachers already have a lot on their plate, not having to worry about school supplies lightens their duties.
Villagrana said, "We are in school for seven hours out of the day. And that's our time with the students. We also take hours before to prep, to do lesson plans, to prep the activities for the children."
VWE manager, Big G, said when they're not pinning opponents on the mat, the wrestling group wants to make an impact in the community.
"Some of them don't want to go to school because oh we don't have a pencil, a notebook or something. With these things, with these boxes, they'll be able to have whatever they want. And schools will have the supplies they need for the school year," said Big G.
Villagrana added it's important for preschoolers to have the tools they need to begin their educational journey.
"I mean it's their base. It's their foundation for a child to be coming into the school at three years," Villagrana said.
The biggest challenge is making the supplies last as long as possible.
Villagrana said, " I only have ten students and even my supplies have run out quickly because it's a daily basis. You're just talking about five days a week with school, with 48 students in the class. Where it's 185 days of the school year."
VWE will be taking school supply donations until the end of August. Residents can drop off school supply donations at Johnny's burritos in Imperial or Cold Stone Creamery in El Centro.