By Martin Slagter Kokomo Tribune
---- — Teachers at Bon Air Elementary will be loaded with supplies when they return to school today, thanks to a gift from The Cellular Connection in Kokomo.
The Cellular Connection, the largest Verizon Premium Wireless Retailer in the U.S., in a joint effort with its customers, donated school supply packs to 3,500 teachers across the country through its Teachers Rock Supply Giveaway, including packs to 10 teachers from Bon Air on Sunday.
Teachers who were rewarded the supplies were: Michelle Boehm, Paul Buesking, Ann Catt, Andy Dickens, Elizabeth Fulk, Lee Fritz, Mary Madden, Dave Mygrant, Rita Sale and Rachal Oldaker.
Oldaker, who teaches fifth grade at Bon Air, was moved by the donation on behalf of Bon Air as she accepted her gift basket filled with supplies on Sunday.
“Especially as a first-year teacher, it’s great to know that there are local businesses that are looking out for us and that they care about our kids,” she said. “Especially things like pencils, colored pencils and crayons, which get lost easily, because those are things that they always need.”
More than 350 participating TCC stores across the U.S. preselected 10 local teachers to come the store to receive the packs. The packages are valued at $80 each and are filled with supplies like glue, pencils, pens, markers, erasers, paper, tissue boxes and more.
Store Manager Mike McGregor said this is another example of TCC helping a worthy cause after supplying presents to children during the Christmas season. TCC also took part in a backpack giveaway for local students to start the school year.
“We wanted to give back to our teachers because they already spend a lot of their own money during the school year to [purchase] supplies for their kids,” McGregor said.
Residents in the community of each participating also joined the cause by rounding their purchases up to the nearest dollar with the difference going directly toward the Teachers Rock Supply Giveaway. If the participating store raises more than $500 through customer contributions, they will use that money to purchase additional supplies for the teachers.
“Every year, teachers spend an average of $1.3 billion of their own money on school supplies, and on top of that, budget cuts continue to lead to less support for our teachers,” said Scott Moorehead, president and CEO of TCC. “At TCC, we believe teachers deserve more. We believe that teachers rock. This is one more way we are giving back through our Culture of Good, and we’re proud to be able to do it.”