INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — More than $1,500 worth of school supplies were delivered to elementary school with Indianapolis Public Schools on Thursday morning as part of the 7th annual Teachers Rock Supply Giveaway.
Theodore Potter Spanish Immersion School, IPS No. 74, is 2020’s lucky school, receiving 20 supply packs from Verizon retailer TCC, based in Carmel. Theodore Potter Elementary is an international immersion school, focusing on graduating sxiht-graders who are completely bilingual in English and Spanish. Theodore Potter Elementary’s curriculum includes half of all classes taught exclusively in English and the other half in Spanish.
The group surprised the teachers and kids at the school in the middle of their classes. “We are energized and excited to see the kids the look on the kids faces when we walk in the classroom,” said Dan LeBlanc, TCC vice president of marketing.
The supply packs are valued at $77 each and filled with items including pencils, pens, dry-erase markers, erasers, glue, paper and tissue boxes. TCC says the goal of the annual school supply giveaway is to reduce the amount teachers are spending out-of-pocket on school supplies at the start of a new semester.
Since 2014, TCC has donated more than 35,000 supply packs to deserving teachers across the country. For their partners in this project at Dream Alive, a nonprofit mentoring organization, the idea is to give to those in need while teaching their middle school mentees to do the same.
Stephen Smith works for the Dream Alive organization as a mentor and their site adviser for H.L. Harshman Middle School. He gives insight to what the organization is all about. “I really believe that it is a way to end the cycle of poverty,” Smith said. ” We’re working with underprivileged youth. We’re trying to provide opportunities for them.”
This opportunity was a chance to give back to kids who came up under similar circumstances: not always having enough money to purchase supplies that will last through the school year.
“They might’ve needed it for their classrooms and now they have it for their students and for themselves,” said Jasmine Depaz, an IPS Carl Wild School No. 79 and Dream Alive student.
Dream Alive’s Smith said, “We’re “getting our middle school students the opportunity to serve and to give back (and) to learn the importance of doing that and to find joy in doing that.”
Even more special, some of these Dream Alive kids are giving back to the teachers that helped them along the way. One of those teachers was Christina Shaul, who has been teaching at the school for 26 years.
“It means the world to me,” she said. “That’s one of the best parts of being a teacher is seeing one of my former students come back. I love it. It’s the best.”
The package may seem small to some, but Shaul and other teachers were feeling a big relief after receiving the packages of supplies.
“We usually have teachers spend a lot of our own money outside to supply our own classroom so that they have what they need,” Shaul said. “Thank you for thinking of us, thank you for supporting teachers and supporting our future students.”
TCC’s LeBlanc said, “It’s great to see that we’re doing a little bit of good for people who are doing a lot of good.”