What do you get when you mix $1 million in classroom project funding with one of the world’s biggest pop stars? Another amazing back-to-school campaign from our partners at Staples! For the fourth year in a row, Staples has joined us to make sure teachers have access to the supplies they need to give students the best possible education. Here are a few highlights from this year’s campaign.
Your new substitute teacher: Lady Gaga
To introduce the campaign, Lady Gaga surprised a class full of Middle School students to spend the day as their substitute teacher. We’ll let the video speak for itself.
A pair of flash fundings kick off the summer
On August 10th, 92 San Francisco teachers woke up to a happy email in their inbox: Every project in the city was flash funded. That meant that Ms. Ramilo’s class got to kick off the year with writing materials, and Ms. Beverly’s kids could learn at their new math and literacy centers. And the flash-funding fun didn’t end there. A week and a half later, 158 Cleveland teachers, such as Ms. Trimble and Ms. Johnson, found their projects flash funded as well. As you might expect, we heard back from some pretty excited teachers:
Thank you for keeping me inspired and motivated to raise the bar for my students every day. Your donations will be making a huge impact on my students both today and in the future!” – Mr. Anderson, a Cleveland HS STEM teacher
I’m so excited to tell our students the great news. I hope to make learning more engaging for them. We can’t thank you enough!” – Ms. Ramilo, a San Francisco 2nd grade teacher
The Kindness Summit (and another flash funding)
Working with Staples this year meant that we got a chance to team up with Born This Way Foundation, an amazing organization founded by Lady Gaga and Cynthia Germanotta, her mother and the Foundation’s president. This led to a late-August event in Chicago, the first ever Kindness Summit. A teacher and a local young person joined researchers for a panel discussion on the importance of kindness in education. As Germanotta put it, “We know that students do best in schools that are kind, supportive, and empowering.”
The panel’s teacher, Mr. Kovach, was in for a surprise when the conference wrapped up. His project was one of 890 in Chicago that Staples flash-funded that afternoon, supporting over 600 teachers.
If you want to share your own stories of kindness in the classroom, check out the Staples Kindness Tree website or use the hashtag #GrowKindness on Twitter and Instagram.
And their customers got involved
If you visited Staples during this back-to-school season, you might have noticed our logo as you walked through the store. In August and September, Staples customers had the option to donate at checkout to support even more classroom projects. And all of those donations mean that hundreds more classrooms will access to the supplies they need. Thank you so much to everyone who gave!
Supporting the Hurricane Recovery
Teachers in Texas and Louisiana could use an extra helping of kindness from all of us this year. As they recover from Hurricane Harvey, our community has come together to make sure those teachers get back on their feet. Staples quickly joined the effort, donating over $391,000 to fund supplies for teachers in Hurricane-impacted areas.
It’s been a busy back-to-school season, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have Staples with us again, helping bring a little more kindness to the world. With that in mind, let’s end with an important question from the Lady herself.
“What supplies do you need to achieve your dream?” – Lady Gaga
Our teachers have 55,000 answers to that question!