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East Elementary teacher gets early Christmas

Anne Helms, left, a first-grader teacher at East Elementary School, got quite a surprise Wednesday, October 1, 2008, when chosen by OfficeMax to receive more than $1,100 in classroom supplies. Sharon Airington, center, and Susan Smith, both OfficeMax representatives, made the presentation after Helms was nominated by her principal Karen Anderson. She was one of 1,300 teachers recognized across the nation.

An East Elementary School first-grade teacher got quite a surprise Wednesday when two OfficeMax representatives brought her more than $1,100 in classroom supplies.

The supplies were given to Anne Helms in front of her very excited first graders at East Elementary School. “This is just amazing,” she said. “I don’t know what to say.”
   
“Hopefully these supplies will help you continue to do the wonderful job you do every day -- giving back to the community by teaching these children,” said Sharon Airington one of the OfficeMax representatives making the presentation. “You’re a very special teacher and this is our way of thanking you for the amount of time and effort you put into teaching.”
   
The presentation was made through a program called, “A Day Made Better,” designed to help offset the expense teachers take upon themselves to buy additional supplies for their classrooms.
   
Helms was chosen for the recognition based on the nomination of her principal Karen Anderson. In the nomination, Anderson said Helms took her students “under her wing like a mother hen,” infusing excellence into the lives of those she touches. She said Helms also has high expectations for her students’ behavior and academic performance.
   
Helms has taught for more than a decade, but the past three years have been at East Elementary. “I can’t ever give back as much as they give to me,” Helms said. “This is my joy. This is where I need to be.”
   
Helms most enjoys watching young minds learn. “I like seeing that ‘ah ha’ look when they get it. You can see the light bulb come on.”
   
The large gift box brought into Helms room included about $1,100 worth of supplies such as pencils, glue sticks, scissors, notebooks, crayons, erasers and facial tissue, as well as larger items like a leather chair, office labeler, a kids’ art caddy, an Olympus camera and electric pencil sharpener.
   
A Day Made Better is an annual, company-wide community initiative of OfficeMax that surprises about 1,300 educators nationwide by giving them classroom supplies.
   
“It’s estimated that teachers spend about $1,300 out of their pockets each year to get supplies in their classroom,” Airington said.
   
OfficeMax representative Susan Smith, who also assisted in the presentation, said the public can donate to specific schools or classrooms by going to the A Day Made Better website http://officemax.mediaroom.com/index.php/adaymadebetter. For more information, email adaymadebetter@officemax.com.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, Publications Coordinator
Posted: Oct 03, 2008 by Deb Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator

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