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Donelson art store Smart Art + Craft Supplies gives back to teachers with shopping spree

Store provides employment opportunities to all
Smart Art + Craft Supplies
Posted at 5:19 PM, Dec 27, 2021

DONELSON, Tenn. (WTVF) — An art store in Donelson that gets a lot of business from teachers treated them to a shopping spree on Monday.

At Smart Art + Craft Supplies, teachers only paid $20 to stuff a basket with whatever they could find.

"We do it to give back to teachers. I mean teachers year-round are big shoppers at Smart, so if we can use a couple days a year to give back and give exclusively to them to shop, we are happy to do so," said Kyle Graden, Senior Manger of Operations.

Hopkinsville middle school teacher Karen Graves shops at the store once a month. The store already sells art supplies at a reduced price.

Like many teachers, supplies for Graves' classroom come out of her pocket.

"I average probably about $1,500, but then I have spent as much as $5,000 a year as well for kids that don't have anything and we need to help them out," Graves said.

The art store provides work and coaches adults with intellectual disabilities.

"You know it's mutually beneficial for their classroom and for their students as well as the people we support at Smart, so it's kind of a win-win that way," Graden said.

Seeing Smart's mission in practice, is a reason Graves likes to shop at the store even when there isn't a sale.

"That means everything to me. I teach sped kids as well and to me the opportunity that they give these people is just incredible," Graves said.