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Business Adopts Teachers
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Adopt-A-Classroom helps teachers connect with community partners who donate funds to use for classroom needs. Recently, some Oakdale High School teachers received an unexpected contribution of funds to use in their classrooms.

Steves Chevrolet Buick participated in the program and tied it to a test drive promotion. The auto dealership had budgeted approximately $5,000 for the program locally that when someone test drove a car at Steves, they would receive a $50 voucher. The test driver would then validate the voucher at Adopt-A Classroom online, pull up Oakdale schools and then select a specific teacher that they would like to have the funds to use in their classroom.

“…Teachers are dipping into their own pockets,” Jeff Steves of Steves Chevrolet Buick noted.

He saw their promotion tied to the program as a win-win situation.

“People are introduced to our product, in return we’re helping the schools,” he said.

After the test-drive-voucher program wrapped at the dealership, Steves said that there was still $1,700 still left over from what had been budgeted. He recently contacted OHS Principal Mike Moore to plan with him how the money still left in the dealership’s budget could go to some of the high school teachers.

Moore reported that at the high school they decided to select a department that dealt with a core subject that they felt needed money. The Social Studies department, consisting of eight teachers, was selected to receive the leftover funds and the teachers would still tap into the funds through Adopt-A-Classroom program.

Teachers have the responsibility to sign up for the program if they wish to participate. Then when they log onto Adopt-A-Classroom, they can use any “online credits” – not cash – that have been donated to their particular account to purchase the resources and materials they need for their classroom through selected online vendors.

OHS History teacher Pete Simoncini is one of the Social Studies department teachers who benefited from the auto dealership’s extra contribution.

“In my case, as I am a veteran teacher who has acquired a great deal of media and other academic items over the years, I decided to use my allocation on the health of my students,” Simoncini said.

With the funds put in his account from the Steves’ donation, he ordered a case of facial tissue and a case of paper towels.

“I always have facial tissue available for my students and I use several paper towels each day to clean each of my student desks with a commercial cleaner,” he explained. “These actions minimize the spread of germs in the enclosed space that is my classroom, where I teach about 170 different students each day.”

Simoncini, like many other teachers, had previously purchased these items with his own money.

“…Given our pay cuts, in addition to insurance premium increases over the past two years, (it) has placed a small burden on our family budget,” he said. “Now I don’t have to worry about purchasing those items out of personal funds.”

He added that he is “deeply appreciative” that Steves Chevrolet Buick extended the program to OHS and that Principal Moore allocated the dollars to the OHS Social Studies department’s teachers.