How the mission Began: Adopt-A-Teacher (2016 – 2020)
“Teaching is the greatest job in the world. Every day I get the chance to change a child’s life through encouragement, love, support, and knowledge. My only regret is that I don’t earn enough to help the needs of all of my kids in the classroom.”
–Middle School Teacher
One could argue that no adult is more trusted by children than a caring and loving teacher. Teachers frequently have the opportunity to help identify children in need. Through everyday encounters, they can establish a network of support that often brings needed comfort, trust, and peace into a child’s world. For that reason, we align our foundation’s support squarely behind our county’s elementary, middle, and high school teachers.
By doing so, teachers also get a look into their world and the day-to-day struggles many of them face. Although the academic environment is structured for learning, the ability to learn is dependent on a child’s arriving at school with basic needs. Basic school supplies (pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, etc.) are often missing from the student’s book bag. And many times those needs fall at the feet of our teachers. 91% of teachers in the US spend an average of $800 a year on their students.
From 2016 – 2020, our Adopt-A-Teacher program stepped in to help offset this ongoing need by aligning parents, residents, community leaders, and local businesses with teachers in need. Teachers provide us with a “wish list” of needed materials and supplies. By coordinating “teacher adoptions,” local businesses and individuals purchased supplies from a “wish list.” and delivered them to the teachers, freeing them from the financial burdens of supplying classroom supplies.
Over the five years, the campaign matched over 1,200 teachers with local “adopters” who provided school supplies to address the needs within a classroom.