Here's how I split the bounty:
If you've ever sat through an beginner band performance, you know there is a very special place in heaven for elementary school band directors. Simply teaching young children how to play and care for their instrument is a tremendous task. Combine that with coordinating the fledgling musicians to play en masse? Well, that takes a tremendous amount of patience and effort.
Ms. Saks, our school's band director teaches instrument play and musicianship in grades 4-8. She gives the job her all, getting to school early, leaving late and dipping into her own pockets whether it's to buy doughnuts for her students for an extra early morning practice session, band supplies, or classroom materials. She has high expectations and makes the kids work hard to meet them. And the band sounds fantastic.
She is such a gift to her students (even if they don't recognize it during yet another early morning practice), so it was exciting for me to give her a gift of a $100 to spend at Office Depot. She was so excited and has no shortage of ways to spend it to benefit her students.
When I first learned that Office Depot's REAL change campaign partnered with Adopt a Classroom.org, I clicked around the site to see which local schools already had active pages. I noticed that my son's former computer teacher, now a Chicago Public School teacher, and his colleagues from West Ridge Elementary School were taking advantage of this great site. I knew I wanted to share Office Depot's generosity with them, as well.
This Saturday before the start of Scratch Day Chicago, I'm giving Brian Myers the super deluxe Workmate bag filled with school supplies from Office Depot and books for the school library. The books came from local resale shops and made a brief appearance as centerpieces at my son's recent bar mitzvah. Once the books and supplies are removed bag Brian will have space to tote several laptops around with ease. That should come in handy because he also works with programs outside of school like Have Dreams.
It's not too late to tell your favorite teachers about Office Depot’s charity partner, AdoptaClassroom.org and participate in the REAL Change Project! What a great opportunity to be eligible for funding from donors around the country. And how fun would it be to surprise one of your former teachers with a gift through the site?
As a parent, I like when teachers take advantage of sites like this. Sometimes you want to do a little something for a teacher who has made that extra effort for your child and it's nice to know what they'd really like to help them continue to make a difference.
Disclosure: I am an Office Depot REAL Change blog ambassador. This post is part of a campaign where I was compensated for my time. To learn more about REAL Change, visit their website.