A Day Made Better with OfficeMax
I've wanted to participate in OfficeMax's A Day Made Better program ever since I heard about it, 3 years ago. Surprising a deserving teacher with $1000 in school supplies so she focuses less on equipping her classroom and more on teaching her kids -- who wouldn't want to be a part of that? With more and more funding being cut from classrooms, with teachers actually having to spend their own money to purchase supplies for their kids (an average of $1000 annually!), A Day Made Better is really making a difference.
Today was OfficeMax's fifth annual A Day Made Better, and they surprised 1,000 teachers across the nation with $1000 in school supplies. This year I had the pleasure of joining a team of OfficeMax associates at a local school, where we awarded Liz, a third-grade teacher, with $1000 in school supplies.
Teacher Liz had no idea we would be coming, so she was delighted to receive a huge orange OfficeMax box filled with goodies like a printer, camera and label maker, as well as basic supplies like pens, markers, tape, sticky notes, folders, tissue, hand sanitizer, and other classroom essentials.
She also received a recognition plaque, a lovely bouquet of flowers, a balloon, a corkboard, and a new ergonomic office chair! She said her old chair was wobbly and on its last legs (pun intended), so the new chair came at just the right time.
Her students were over the moon! They were so excited for their teacher and for their classroom, it was as though they had won the lottery (which they had, in a way, since they were the only classroom in the school to receive this honor, and in fact the only classroom in the city!). Before they opened the OfficeMax box, their principal, Dr. Judy, asked them to guess what was inside; their responses included a TV and a dog. When given the Go signal, they rushed to the box and scrambled to show the contents to their teacher. Every time someone took out an item, it was accompanied by a chorus of Ooh's, Ahh's, and Cool's
Kids being kids, they were just as excited to pull out the layers of bubble wrap and styrofoam. I can just imagine what they told their parents when they got home from school: Hey, guess what, OfficeMax gave our teacher some really cool bubble wrap that we got to stomp on, and some styrofoam that we made into snow, and oh yeah, they gave her a printer and a chair and some other stuff.
I can't imagine these supplies going to a more deserving classroom or teacher. Teacher Liz teaches a dual-language immersion class; half the class do not speak English, and the other half do not speak Spanish. Almost 70% of the kids in Liz's school qualify for a free or reduced-cost lunch. Given that the qualifying threshold for a free or reduced-cost lunch is $28,000 for a family of four, you can imagine that parents probably don't have the disposable income to be donating school supplies to Liz's classroom.
Seeing Teacher Liz and her students so happy really made my day. Thank you so much to Dr. Judy and OfficeMax for letting me tag along to witness such a wonderful event!
How You Can Help
* Organize your own Day Made Better surprise for your favorite teacher: Gather together a box of new school supplies, or purchase a discounted box of school supplies through Adopt-A-Classroom and A Day Made Better.
* Donate directly to your favorite teacher's classroom through Adopt-A-Classroom
* Spread the word about A Day Made Better via Facebook, Twitter, email or your blog.
* Join my Day Made Better giveaway on Bonggamom Finds for the chance to win a $50 OfficeMax gift card to buy supplies for your own favorite teacher. You can increase your chances of winning by leaving a comment on this post!
Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this post or my participation in this program. I actually pestered OfficeMax until they relented and let me tag along to today's A Day Made Better event!