Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Patricia Oliphant’s kindergarten class at Starpoint’s Fricano Primary School was on their way out for a field trip to Kelkenberg Farms earlier this month, when Oliphant was told by Principal Bonnie Stafford she couldn’t leave the building.
Stafford didn’t explain, which had Oliphant wondering what was going on.
”She didn’t tell me why,” Oliphant said.
The reason was explained soon, as two large boxes and a nice new desk chair were delivered by OfficeMax representatives. They were stopping by to visit Oliphant, who was one of nine local teachers named as this year’s A Day Made Better winners.
The initiative aims to provide teachers with enough school supplies so that educators won’t have to spend their own money to buy things their students need. Selected teachers were nominated by their principals for demonstrating passion, dedication and innovation in the classroom, OfficeMax said.
So, on Oct. 1, OfficeMax brought Oliphant two large boxes filled to the brim with things like crayons, markers, folders, notebooks and so on. And there was more than enough stuff to go around for Oliphant’s kids.
“It was such an honor,” she said. “I do love school supplies, I kept inviting people to come and take some.”
With schools watching money closer than ever and looking to cut wherever they can in their budgets, classroom materials and supplies are often among the items that get trimmed. As a result, according to AdoptAClassroom.org, teachers can spend as much as $1,000 each year of their own money for classroom materials and supplies. AdoptAClassroom, which by itself has raised over $18 million to benefit classrooms across the country since 1998, has partnered with OfficeMax for the A Day Made Better program.
And since 2007, when the program started, OfficeMax has donated about $1.7 million in classroom supplies to teachers and schools across the country. Each of the 1,000 teachers who were surprised Oct. 1 received about $1,000 worth of school supplies.