Teachers and students at Walnut Cove Elementary School have new tools to help their students learn, thanks to the generosity of Sam’s Club and the Joey Logano Foundation, both of which have provided funding for the school in recent months.
Most recently, the school received a $5,000 donation from the Joey Logano Foundation, thanks to the efforts of one of its teacher’s and her mother.
Current Principal Johnna Cheek, said Rosa Williams and her daughter, Walnut Cove Elementary School teacher Laura Williams, found out about the possibility while attending a NASCAR event in the fall.
“They mentioned to someone from the Joey Logano race team that Laura worked at our school and the schools are always in need of supplies and assistance to meet the needs of students,” said Cheek. “When she returned home, Rosa Williams submitted a donation request for funding.”
Cheek said the funding would be used to help purchase instructional supplies and/or provide staff development for teachers at the school.
“A special fund has been established for the donation and the School Improvement Team is currently working to identify the school’s most pressing needs by soliciting input from all teachers,” said Cheek. “It is likely that some of the funds will be spent this year, but other funds will be available for next year. We remain focused on spending funds in ways that will positively impact students’ educational experience.”
Cheek said the funding would likely help the school renew a number of subscriptions for educational programs and purchase much needed supplies that the school had not been able to purchase due to funding cuts.
“Donations such as these assist with providing current, relevant reading materials, instructional materials, and staff development that otherwise could only be purchased by increasing class size,” said Cheek. “We know that teachers make the most significant positive impact on students achievement and have at times sacrificed some supplies and materials in order to keep class sizes low and provide instructional support services to meet the needs of all students. We are very appreciative to the Logano Foundation for helping provide for instructional tools we might otherwise have had to do without.”
This is the second time this year that the school has been a recipient of a corporate donation to help teachers get the supplies they need.
In November 2015, Sam’s Club representative Sherri Bowman came to the school to give each of its 20 teachers a $50 gift card.
“Sam’s Club and Walmart recognize the efforts teachers put into their classroom and for our children everyday,” she said. “We realize they have to spend a lot of their own money for classroom supplies, for a child who may not have a pencil or a child who can’t focus because he is hungry. We wanted to thank them by presenting them each with a $50 gift card.”
She said Walnut Cove Elementary had been chosen as the recipient of the sixth annual Teacher Rewards Program for the area.
“We look at a set of criteria and what is going on in each school and Walnut Cove was the one we chose this year,” she said.
Bowman presented the gift cards during a special ceremony at the school.
“Teachers here reach into their own pockets everyday to ensure that our future leaders have the best possible education,” she told the student body. “We know the teachers here are going the extra mile and giving back to their students. We are honored to give $1,000 to the teachers of Walnut Cove that can be used to purchase back to school supplies and snacks for their students.”
Stokes County Schools Director of K-5 Education Marsha Erskine said she was thrilled the teachers had been recognized for their efforts.
“It appears that the money is the most important thing, but I think the most important thing is that they are being recognized,” she said. “That someone came here to do that. Of course the money does matter because they put a lot of their own cash into their classrooms, but to know that there are businesses out there that appreciate them enough to bring $50 to all of these teachers is wonderful.”
Erskine added that she would welcome any other donations to any of the system’s other 18 schools.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.