October 13, 2008

Donation of School Supplies ‘Means the World’ to Teacher and Her Pupils

By Kristin McAllister Staff Writer

MIAMISBURG -- The huge smiles and squeals of joy spoke volumes of just how excited Bear Elementary School first-graders were to receive an enormous box full of free school supplies as part of "A Day Made Better" on Wed., Oct. 1.

OfficeMax Inc., in partnership with the nonprofit Adopt-A- Classroom, sponsored the event in which the office supply company surprised 1,300 teachers in mostly lowerincome school districts across the nation with classroom supplies.

Teachers were nominated by their district's staff for the award.

"Oh my goodness, it's like Christmas," said Holly Deuser, Bear Elementary first-grade teacher. "This is unbelievable. It's such an honor."

The goal of "A Day Made Better," said Deanne Luckenbill, business relationship manager for OfficeMax in Beavercreek, is to bring attention to the number of teachers spending their own money on classroom supplies their district cannot afford.

"When you're in there and you see their little faces and they're saying, 'Thank you! Thank you!' and they're already putting everything away, it brings tears to your eyes," Luckenbill said. "So, it's terrific just to be a part of it."

Teachers, on average, spend $1,200 out-of-pocket for supplies, or about $4 billion annually, to offset budget shortfalls, according to a 2005 survey by the National Education Association.

Superintendent Dallas Jackson said Deuser is an extraordinary teacher who "quietly goes about her business" and expects no praise for her hard work, which includes, among many things, having served as district math coach for several years and helping in the development of the first-grade assessments.

"Holly is a wonderful instructor," Jackson said. "Her kids are always successful in everything they do. She's so supportive of the community, of the school, of the parents of her children. The supplies from OfficeMax mean the world to her in the classroom."

Deuser said she and her students couldn't wait to dig into their new supplies and get to work.

"I was just overjoyed," she said. "I'm just so happy, because a lot of the children here are without, so just to know that this makes their day, too, just as much as it makes mine, it makes me feel good. And we share what we have."

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-9338 or [email protected]

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