BURLINGTON A Burlington-Des Lacs Elementary School teacher was surprised with $1,000 in school supplies Oct. 4 in the "A Day Made Better Program" sponsored by OfficeMax and Adopt-A-Classroom.
Second-grade teacher Stephanie Skar was among 1,000 teachers nationally, including four in North Dakota, selected to receive the award.
"She provides a caring environment for her students. She always has a smile on her face," said Principal Jean Klein, who nominated Skar.
Submitted Photo - - Stephanie Skar, second-grade teacher at Burlington-Des Lacs Elementary, left, received gifts and school supplies from OfficeMax Oct. 4 after she was nominated for the recognition by principal Jean Klein, right.
In the nomination, Klein write that Skar is determined to provide her students with an inviting environment that promotes a positive learning experience. She is never reluctant to take on any task but demonstrates passion, dedication and innovation in teaching, Klein said.
Each year, OfficeMax and Adopt-A-Classroom work with school principals nationwide to recognize deserving teachers with "A Day Made Better" award and $1,000 in classroom supplies donated by OfficeMax. Since 2007, the program has funded more than 4,500 classrooms with more than $4.5 million in grants and school supplies and helped secure funding for more than 66,000 classrooms annually through donations to Adopt-A-Classroom.
Teachers spend roughly $1,000 out of their own pockets each year to offset school budget shortfalls and ensure students have the necessary resources for learning, according to information from OfficeMax. The "A Day Made Better" program seeks to help end the need for teacher-funded classrooms, particularly in Title I schools, where at least 40 percent of the student body meets federal assistance criteria.
The program provides each recognized teacher with a digital camera, swivel chair and a large box containing essential classroom supplies such as pencils and markers.
"It was very nice. As a first-year teacher, there are so many things to buy. It adds up quick," Skar said.
This is Skar's first year as a full-time teacher, having substitute taught during the last school term.
In addition to its own donation program, OfficeMax conducts an in-store teacher supply drive each fall through Oct. 1 that customers can participate in. Products collected are donated to local schools each Oct. 4.
People also can surprise a deserving teacher by visiting (www.adoptaclassroom.org/better) to choose from three "A Day Made Better" gift boxes, ranging from $25 to $100, Each box comes with school supplies, "A Day Made Better" T-shirt and instructions for conducting a surprise event.