DAVIE (CBS4) – With a month to go before the start of school in South Florida, teachers are beginning to stock up on school supplies.

It’s estimated teachers shell out anywhere from $500 to $1000 out of their own pockets to have the necessary supplies for their classrooms.

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“A lot of times I’ll buy paper and pencils because the kids don’t bring them to school,” said Hialeah Middle school teacher Karla Mats.

To help offset those costs, the Broward Education Foundation has a campaign underway to collect school supplies.

You may have seen the banner and bins bearing the words, ‘Stuff The Bus.’

The Foundation is asking businesses and the community to donate school supplies to help kids succeed in school. The idea is to collect enough free school supplies to fill a large school bus.

Once bins are full, the supplies are taken to the Education Foundation building at 2300 W. Copans Road in Pompano Beach.

There, teachers can receive school supplies ‘for free’ to take back to their classrooms.

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Last year 130 schools benefitted from the program.  Over one thousand teachers took an average of $345 dollars worth of supplies back to their kids.

Davie assistant principal Monica Schlosser says with less state funding, everyone’s digging deeper into their pockets.  On Thursday she shelled out over $400 dollars on school supplies for her school and family.

“I can’t imagine not having these items in my school, in my arena.  We love the kids and want them to succeed,” said Schlosser.

Businesses are also stepping up to help teachers.

At Ace Educational Supplies in Davie, owner Rick Ludwig says he’s trying to keep costs down for teachers and parents.

“We’ve been very aggressive this year trying to get better prices with manufacturers,” said Ludwig. “This year we brought in a whole bunch of 99 cent stuff.”

Every little bit helps.

And Karla Mats never loses sight of what her financial sacrifice is all about.

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“There’s no better feeling than standing in front of your class and seeing an ‘ah-ha’ moment, I learned something,” said Mats.