Donation of classroom material is 'A Day Made Better' for teachers PDF Print E-mail
Written by By WILL MALONE Sentinel Staff Writer   
Saturday, 10 October 2009 07:41
Northwood Middle School teacher Deb Towns is all smiles after opening box full of Office Max school supplies. 10/6/09 (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
NORTHWOOD - Two Wood County teachers were recognized this week for their commitment to education with a surprise gift of $1,000 worth of school supplies.
Deb Towns, at Northwood Middle School, and Pam Nickel, at Glenwood Elementary in Rossford, were chosen by their principals this year to be honored Tuesday morning - along with 998 other teachers simultaneously across the country - as part of "A Day Made Better," Office Max's national cause campaign facilitated in partnership with nonprofit Adopt-A-Classroom to end teacher-funded classrooms.
The school principals worked in secret with OfficeMax associates to surprise the teachers in their classrooms with a digital camera, printer, swivel chair and hefty box containing essential classroom supplies.
One teacher was chosen at each school who exemplified passion, dedication and innovation in the classroom.
According to Northwood Principal Jason Kozina, Towns remains probably the most energetic teacher in the school after 30 years in education. He said students often return years later to seek out "Ms. Towns," who challenges them to produce their best efforts.
"She just has that unique ability to demand high levels of performance from students but still gain their trust and really work for their best interest."
Towns was in the middle of a 7th-grade language arts lesson in Room 213 when OfficeMax reps carried in the load of supplies. Her students rushed to the front of the class to peer inside the box as Towns cheered for her new printer and envelopes.
"Wow, this is like Christmas," she said.
She told her class that she was proud of their performance so far this school year. "But we have a lot of work to do and we're not done yet," she added, anticipating preparation for standardized testing. "We'll be there full-force."
She said after the presentation that the gift would help her supply students in need of basic materials and the new printer would replace her broken one. Now she will be able to produce assignments, calendars and agendas without fear of approaching any copy quotas. "You can't box this up ... It's wonderful," she said.
Leanne Tank, manager of the OfficeMax store on Curtice Road, said this was the third year stores had participated in the national program.
"It's a lot of fun," she said. "It's very, very cool. I always have to prevent myself from crying because it's always very emotional."
A few miles south and west of Northwood, Nickel also was being recognized for her own dedication to students at the elementary school in the Rossford Exempted Schools District.
An explanation for why Nickel was nominated appears on the "A Day Made Better" Web site. Glenwood Principal Bill Buzzell described her as one of the most caring teachers that a student could hope for.
"She is totally dedicated to making every student not only a better reader, but making their lives better too," he said. "She brings in her own supplies for her kids, pays for some kids to go on field trips and stays late to make sure each kid can get any help they need."
Nickel, who teaches special education for kindergarten through third grade, said the unannounced delivery Tuesday was "truly a surprise." She said the supplies, which include a number of basic items that students use daily in the classroom, also will benefit parents who cannot always afford to purchase materials.
She said most teachers regularly purchase classroom materials with their own money.
"While I'm very pleased to get it, almost every teacher is deserving of it. ..." she said of the award. "Most teachers are worthy of some kind of credit from outside, and I definitely appreciate the OfficeMax's time to do this to help teachers, because it does get to be quite expensive."
Through the ceremonies, OfficeMax seeks to call attention to the issue of teacher out-of-pocket spending and motivate the public to take action by supporting local educators through Adopt-A-Classroom. "A Day Made Better" was first conducted in October 2007 and has since contributed to the funding of more than 10,000 classrooms.
An OfficeMax survey conducted in June 2009 found that teachers spend on average $1,000 of their own money each year to offset school budget shortfalls and ensure their students have the necessary classroom resources for learning.
The name, "A Day Made Better," is derived from the concept that OfficeMax and Adopt-A-Classroom can make at least one day better for teachers by providing them with essential classroom supplies.
Last Updated on Saturday, 10 October 2009 08:42

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