‘It’s really meaningful’: Clear the List Block Party in Belton raises thousands for area teachers

Published: Aug. 5, 2023 at 6:28 PM CDT
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - A Bell County salon owner and her sister-in-law are giving back to local teachers ahead of the first day of school.

Last year KWTX introduced viewers to Image Hair Studio owner Nikole Estrada and how she chipped in to help local teachers purchase classroom school supplies. That idea came from one of her clients, her sister-in-law Stephanie Martinez who is a Belton ISD teacher.

This year, their fundraiser has expanded to a full-scale event at Yeti Polk Park called the “Clear List Block Party” held in partnership with Keller Williams Realty in Temple. In total, the event raised around $3,200 to be evenly distributed between 90 Central Texas teachers.

”All of the money is put into our Clear the List account and the total will be divided up between our registered teachers and they will receive Amazon gift cards,” Martinez said.

Back-to-school benefit events specifically for teachers like this one are rare, according to Martinez and Estrada.

”We do so many drives for our students with backpack drives, but we want to give back to our local teachers too,” Martinez said.

But teachers say the cost of classroom supplies can quickly be costly, with some spending as much as $1,000 in one year.

With Saturday’s event, Estrada and Martinez aimed to alleviate some of that burden. They held a silent auction with bags, baskets and other items donated by local businesses. Meanwhile vendors onsite like Rodeo Runts held their own raffle to give back to teachers.

”Every $10 you spend with us your name will be entered into a raffle to win a big basket of teaching supplies,” Sean Harvey, Rodeo Runts owner, said.

It’s all about reminding all Central Texas teachers that they are loved and valued.

”People from the community don’t always appreciate what we do in the classroom,” Belton ISD teacher Yanitza Arroyo said. “So having this kind of event it’s really meaningful because we can tell we do have support.”

If you missed Saturday’s event you can still head to either Belton Bronco Nutrition, Pink Bulldog Boutique, Keller Williams Realty in Temple or Temple Nutrition and Energy. Those businesses all have Christmas trees with ornaments that have QR codes that take you to a local teacher’s Amazon wishlist.

Visit any of those businesses through the end of August to help local teachers purchase classroom supplies.