HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WNCN) — The WakeEd Partnership kicked off its five-week school supply drive Monday.

WakeEd Partnership is a nonprofit focused on improving public education within the Wake County Public School system. One of their programs, called Tools4Schools is a classroom supply store that provides free supplies for nearly 11,000 teachers in North Carolina’s largest school district.

Wake-Ed President Keith Poston says there’s a huge need for more supplies to serve the whole district.

“160,000 students, 11,000 teachers. That’s a big district with a lot of needs,” said Poston.

According to the WakeEd Partnership website, teachers in North Carolina spend an average of $526 out-of-pocket on school supplies for their students each year.

The nonprofit’s goal these next five weeks is to stock the shelves at Wake-Ed’s “Tools4Schools” free store to help curb that expense for teachers. As an added bonus, the “For Others Foundation” will match each donation that comes in during July and August.

The Holly Springs Masonic Lodge’s junior deacon Sam Prestipino says his son, Lucas, built a drop-off box as his eagle scout project. That box will now be a permanent addition at the lodge. Prestipino’s wife is a teacher so their whole family sees first-hand how much teachers can spend on a classroom ahead of the new school year.

“I think with his mom being a schoolteacher, he sees it every year. We don’t just go back to school shopping for him and his brother and sister. We’re going back to school shopping for my wife and her kids,” Prestipino said.

The “Tools-4-Schools” store opened in January and it’s only for Wake County teachers.

Here is where you can find donation boxes: