TWW recently launched and completed a $1k Back-to-School Giveaway on our Facebook Page asking all Escambia and Santa Rosa County teachers to send in their requests for up to $1,000 in needed school supplies for their students. We know that too often teachers are left without all the necessary tools to enhance student learning. Many teachers, who are already underpaid and overworked, even personally purchase items to help their students. With this campaign, TWW wanted to help our local teachers obtain the tools necessary to make a difference in their classrooms this school year.
After receiving so many creative and thoughtful submissions, the firm decided to select several winners internally to receive half of the giveaway ($500) and submit another two finalists to our Facebook following to choose a winner for the second half (another $500) to complete our $1k giveaway. We have included all submissions in their entirety below so you can see the care and sincerity that teachers from all over Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties put into these submissions. You will also see how hard it was to choose! Many (many!) thanks to all teachers who submitted entries and all teachers in our surrounding counties that work tirelessly every day to help improve our children and our communities. We, at TWW, are all so proud of you and appreciate what you do.
After careful consideration, the firm voted internally to fulfill the following teachers' requests to comprise the first $500 of the $1k giveaway.
TWW Internal Vote Winners:
1. Kiley Metzer, a 1st grade teacher at West Pensacola Elementary, requested $120 worth of black history books to help her students celebrate their heritage and discover positive black role models;
2. Kim Turner, a 4th grade teacher at Holley Navarre Intermediate, requested $100 worth of STEM (Science, Technology, Electronics, and Math) products (robotics and electronics) to encourage her students' love for learning all things STEM;
3. Cindy Walker, a 3rd grade teacher S.S. Dixon Intermediate School requested $200 for a variety of crafts and construction supplies for her students to participate in community projects like creating art projects to send to soldiers overseas, writing letters to the elderly in assisted living facilities, and creating toys and tender items for kittens at the pound; and
4. Julie Mayhair, a kindergarten teacher at Brentwood Elementary, who requested $75 to purchase Level E and F kindergarten reading books for her class.
TWW Facebook Vote Finalists:
The firm also submitted the following two finalists to our Facebook following for a vote to choose the TWW Facebook Winner:
All Teacher Submissions
Here are the complete submissions we received in response to this campaign. It was so inspiring and heart-warming to see how devoted our local teachers are to their students and how creative they were in their diverse requests:
Erica Minchew - 2nd Grade - Kingsfield Elementary School
Hi, my name is Erica Minchew. I teach 2nd-grade inclusion at Kingsfield Elementary school. One thing that I would love to add to our classroom is sensory items. Being inclusion, I have students with Autism in the general education class. If these students become over-stimulated, I have an area that they can go into to take a break and calm down. Students that are not on the Autism Spectrum also have an opportunity if they are feeling overwhelmed or upset to go into the calm down corner and collect their thoughts before returning to the class. Last year students from other classes would come over for a timeout and several of them were angry or upset. I was able to direct them into the calm down area where they filled out a reflection sheet and just took a moment to settle before returning to their class. This area proved to be very beneficial and I would love to add sensory items to this area. I received word just today that I will be getting two students on the Autism Spectrum. They have been in a self-contained class(only Autism) but they are transitioning into the general education setting. One student likes to run and hide when he encounters new situations. This is exactly why a well-equipped calm down corner would suit needs for all students in my classroom. Thank you for your time.
Here is the link to my Teacher of the Year video! Thank you for what you are doing to support teachers and students!
- Erica Minchew
Kiley Metzer - 1st Grade - West Pensacola Elementary
My name is Kiley Metzer, and I am a first year, 1st grade teacher at West Pensacola Elementary. The students in our school are 65% minority categorized students, and our school administration realized that student growth within the category of black students did increase in the last year, but it did so at a rate of 8% slower than other racial demographics. Our school leaders have challenged themselves to figure out the cause of this gap, and close it, so that all of the students at our school are experiencing the same level of growth. Recently, while organizing my classroom library in preparation for the year, I realized that there was a huge gap in content. We had tons of books about Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Presidents, Science... but only three books about Ruby Bridges to signify Black History Month. Our students can certainly learn from white historical figures, but I also want my kids to celebrate their heritage and look up to positive black role models. That is why I am eager to get some new books for my classroom that revolve around strong, positive, black figures and stories of the civil rights movement in our country. We know how important it is for students to have positive role models in their lives... and we also know that not all of our students have those role models at home. I want to be able to read my kids stories of people that not only look like them, but have fought through adversity to achieve success for themselves and others. Please consider donating some, or all of the following books to my classroom library.
Thank you so much,
Julie Mayhair - Kindergarten - Brentwood Elementary
My name is Julie Mayhair. This is my third year teaching [kindergarten] in the Escambia County School District, but I previously worked as a paraprofessional for five years while going to college. For the last two years I taught at Brentwood Elementary, but this year I transferred to Pine Meadow Elementary.
When I arrived to my classroom, all that was there was tables and chairs. My last classroom was fully furnished from a previous teacher who retired. I only took what was mine when I left. Consequently, I didn't have very much. I have spent over $600 on my classroom since June 1st. There's still so much my students need, but I just don't have any more funds for it right now. Mainly, my need is leveled readers.
At Brentwood, we had a library of leveled readers (also known as DRA books). Here, all I have are the curriculum leveled readers which are often quite boring and honestly aren't tailored to the appropriate levels for kindergarten. I bought Level A and B books. I will be buying Level C and D books. But, last Thursday when I met my students for the first time to assess what they know after attending preschool- it became clear that I have students that are already reading at a first grade level. I would love a set of Level E and F books if you all have the funds.
These books will be used during my small group time which is an hour and a half of time where students are split into four groups and seen for 20-25 minutes a day. I see all of the groups everyday. During this time we will work on letter recognition, sound production, sight word recognition, reading short words, and writing sentences. We end each small group by reading a short story together. My more advanced group is already able to read many sight words and short words (cat, make, man, etc..) and would benefit from a set of books tailored to their needs which are exploring different types of word families. These students deserve to continue being pushed so they can continue to develop and refine their reading skills to their highest potential instead of being held back because the other students aren't on their levels.
I'm the type of person that strives to develop the passion for learning (especially reading) in children. Kindergarten is where that love begins. I want to push my students to keep striving to learn more and to love every minute of it. That way, as they move through grades they don't fall "behind" or back to their peer's levels. If they can do more, I want to help them achieve more. Because when kids are held back they become bored or lose interest in school or learning. We definitely don't want that. Then they fall behind and lose the momentum that they once had and I definitely don't want that. I know eventually, I'll find the money for these books but it would be wonderful if you all could find it in your heart to purchase a set of readers for my class. Then, I could use my money for perhaps even higher leveled readers in the future. I do have one student who is already reading on a second grade level and I'd love to be able to find some products to help him be challenged.
Here is a link to a set of leveled readers on Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/dp/1338255207/?coliid=IO3JYZO5IUNJB&colid=1EZLZC5SHYNQ4&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
Thank you all so much for your time and for helping teachers help their students. It truly is appreciated more than you ever will know. It makes a difference to the children/teachers you are funding. And honestly, that's pretty amazing.
Alexandria Ryan - 9th Grade - Escambia County School District
Hello friends! Thank you for your kindness towards teachers. We ALL appreciate your willingness to help!
My biggest classroom need is not fun or clever or exciting; unfortunately, it is an actual need. This year I will be teaching Advanced Placement Human Geography (AP HUGs) for 9th grade students. This is their very first taste of an AP class! We do not have a physical copy of the book for every student because it would be very costly. We only have a class set and students are given a code for the digital book. Studies have proven that students learn better from a physical copy of a book, rather than a digital copy. Many of my students do not have access to internet at home, which makes using the digital copies of the book even more challenging. I am asking for 50 copies of the AMSCO Review book for my students that cannot afford a copy because I think they deserve a fighting chance at earning college credit and building their confidence to continue in the AP program. More than 75% of the students taking AP HUGs do not continue to take AP Social Studies classes because they feel unprepared and under resourced, among other things. My goal for this year is to set my students up to take the AP test with confidence and have a 50% pass rate, but my top goal is to have at least 50% of my class enroll for an AP class next year. The AP program sets them apart from other students and allows them to earn college credit while still in high school. This can save students and families thousands of dollars after graduation when the student enrolls in a college or university.
I appreciate this opportunity!
Alexandria K. Ryan
Ann Pierce - 4th Grade - Myrtle Grove Elementary
I am a 4th grade teacher at Myrtle Grove Elementary. One thing my students could really use are headphones / ear buds to use with their chrome books when using certain programs to help them learn math and reading. Some will bring headphones, but the majority will not or cannot. I have a few pairs in my classroom for those who don't, but most likely will not be enough. I have 20 students enrolled at this point which could go up or down before school starts and during the year, I currently have 6-8 pair in class that have been used for a couple of years. If you could help provide more headphones / ear buds it would be greatly appreciated.
- Ann Pierce
4th grade teacher / Myrtle Grove Elementary
Kimberly Turner - 4th Grade - Holley Navarre Intermediate
Good evening. My name is Kimberly Turner and I am a 4th grade teacher at Holley Navarre Intermediate in Santa Rosa County.
I am still a relatively new teacher and would love the chance to add science/STEM manipulatives to my classroom. These would be used to enhance my students love for learning all things STEM. Often times science gets overlooked by Math and ELA, and I want to provide an opportunity to bring it alive in my classroom.
These are some of the following items that I know my class could greatly benefit from. Thank you for this amazing opportunity to provide these educational tools for our students!
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Jessica Eldridge - 6th Grade - Beulah Middle School
My name is Jessica Eldridge and I am a 6th grade teacher at Beulah Middle School. I would love to have a butterfly kit to teacher my students about metamorphism. What better way for them to learn than to see it with their own eyes!! I have attached the link below for the kit!
WE appreciate people like you all to help us and encourage us that our profession still matters!!!
Thanks for your time and consideration in ordering my students this kit! It will impact over 135 students! They will learn about metamorphism and also tend to the care and developement of each butterfly while letting them go upon full development!!
AGAIN THANK YOU!! Below is the link to the kit.
Insect Lore Platinum Edition Butterfly Pavilion Kit
6th Grade Science
Beulah Middle School
Cindy Walker - 2nd Grade - S.S. Dixon Intermediate School
Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the money for our classrooms. I teach third grade at S.S. Dixon Intermediate School in Pace, Florida. The project that I would like help with is one of giving back and service to others in our community. Currently, my class and another class mail monthly boxes with handmade cards and art projects to soldiers serving overseas. We also include many little extra goodies.
But I want to expand to something local that the children can actually see the results of their work. Below you will see the three projects my class will undertake this year.
1-HOPE: Helps to rescue kittens that are literally on their last day before being put to sleep. Cats and kittens have a 90% euthanasia rate in our county. How can students help? A-Fill socks with rice to warm up for small kittens that do not have a mother. B-Cut and zip tie square towers of cardboard to make scratching posts.C-Braid long strips of soft t-shirts for their claws.
Items needed to purchase:
Socks-$9.98 for 10 pairs x 3
Rice-$8.43 for 20lbs of rice x 6
Zip ties-100 pack @$15.53 x2
T-shirts Goldman Safety pink T-shirt's $3.42 x10
Students will also be asked to bring in donations of canned and dry foods for cats and kittens. Posters will be put up around the school ask others in the school to help us with our project. A speaker from Hope will visit our classrooms to accept donations and explain their purpose.
2-Ronald McDonald House: Students will watch a video to explain the story behind the house. A speaker might be brought in if possible or a field trip. Students will be asked to make donations of small items to the RMH such as pacifiers, rattles, wipes. We will also purchase books for their RMH book box. But as a monthly project we will make decorations for each door of the families staying there.
Items needed to purchase:
Construction paper- $5-$6 for 50 pieces depending on time of year
Contact paper-Clear 18 inch wide $9.66
Glitter-6 color chunky glitter $5.98 x4
Googly Eyes-500 pieces varied sizes $13.32
Pipe Cleaners-300 count $6.99
Clear ornaments-Set of 3 (size3.15inch) $1.89
3-Victorian Manor: We have an assisted living home just down the street from our school. I want students to adopt a pen pal.
My students will be able to practice their cursive as well as letter writing skills. We will also make decorations for the resident's doors for each holiday.
Items needed for purchase:
Stationary for writing letters-200 count cards with envelopes
Stamps-Book of Stamps $11 x5
Art supplies from above-$0 above will be used for both projects.
All materials/items listed above were located on Walmart.com with the exception of stamps.
It is my goal to develop in each student a true heart of caring about their community and learning to give to others. Students need to take time away from tv, social media and video games to look at what they can do even now to be the change in our world. Every dollar spent in our classroom will not just make a difference in their life but will also go beyond the classroom walls to impact others.
Thank you again for taking the time to recognize the role that teachers play in our community.
Cindy F. Walker
32 year Veteran Teacher
Making a Difference since 1987
Richard Hughes - Art Teacher - O.J. Semmes Elementary
I was very excited to hear about you generous grant opportunity. This is my 3rd year teaching Art at O. J. Semmes elementary and I am always looking for new ways to help keep my students motivated. My students have many challenges when they come to school and the schools budget only allows for so much. My students come from a very high poverty area of town. They come to school in survival mode and have trouble trusting anyone. They witness crime on a daily basis and have experienced things that no one should ever have to experience. One challenge that I have been facing is access to a color laser print. I want to provide high quality photos to my students when looking at work, as well as printing copies of their art work to bring home. I usually keep most student artwork until after all the art shows in the district are completed. This is a bittersweet moment for students because they really want to take it home immediately. I found out that if I gave them a color copy of that they would be content so they would have something to show their parents. Also, in Art class there are many examples and visuals that I can only currently print in black and white. This makes them very boring and loses my students attention. This printer would help eliminate these problems. I have also been trying to prepare to have an after school photo club, this printer would be a great foundation to the start of me being able to start a Photography club.
Here is a link to the supplies needed!!!!!
Thank you so much for this opportunity!!!
O. J. Semmes Elementary
Summer Sevi - Art Teacher - Sherwood Elementary School
Hi there! As the art teacher for Sherwood Elementary School, I am tasked with providing a comprehensive art curriculum for each and every child within the school. Sherwood is a tucked behind homes in the Myrtle Grove area, and is largely unknown as an elementary school. Because of this, it often misses opportunities to receive funding that other, more visible, schools receive. With an approximate enrollment of 700 students, that equates to a lot of supplies. Unfortunately, funding for the art department is extremely low. It becomes difficult to provide the students with a well-rounded art experience when supplies are limited. The school's ceramics kiln is not up to code, which prevents the firing of student pottery. Kilns are expensive to replace and repair, which further compounds the problem. I am requesting 10 packages of School Smart air-dry clay, each containing 25 lbs. per package. This clay would allow the students to create their own handmade pottery without the use of a kiln. Ceramics are an integral part of an elementary art education, and without it, the students would not receive instruction and hands-on experience in this critical medium. The cases of clay cost $37.06 each, and 10 cases would cost $370.60. My hope is that you would help me give these children a fully immersive arts education.
Mary Williams - High School - Escambia Westgate
Hello, my name is Mary Williams, high school ACCESS Points teacher, and I am seeking this grant for $1,000 dollars to create a flexible, fun, and engaging classroom by using a variation of seating arrangements. This is my third year working at Escambia Westgate, and I have moved classrooms this year to a new setting. I teach English language arts (ELA) to high school grades 9-12 to students with a variety of disabilities in a rotating setting. I have 33 students that would all benefit from the flexible seating design. This grant would provide me with the necessary funds to ensure that my students have access to a flexible seating arrangement. Each classroom that I travel to has 8-9 students that work in 2-3 groups. My students all sit in school provided desks and/or chairs that do not ensure maximum engagement. Most of my students are non-verbal and cannot communicate effectively. Their learning environment is not very productive due to the discomfort of the assignment to a traditional chair in four different classes. This seating assignment may also lead to problematic behaviors. My students cannot let me know if they feel comfort or discomfort, and this increases unwanted behaviors. I believe with the usage of visuals created for flexible seating, my students would be able to choose where their seat would be for that period. If the student were uncomfortable with what they have chosen, there would be other possibilities for them in the classroom. My students would benefit from a flexible classroom and it would help them on all levels. They are the epitome of the student that deserves a flexible seating arrangement due to the nature of their disabilities. The following links provide what I would utilize in my flexible seating classroom arrangement.
Michelle Livingston - 2nd Grade - Ensley Elementary
Thank you for hosting this give away. I am in my 10th year teaching at a Title 1 school in Pensacola, Ensley Elementary. I teach second graders and we are so blessed to have 1:1 technology for our students in the form of Chromebooks for the past few years. The students love using them to access our interactive textbooks online, listen to audio books, do research, create projects, and play educational support games. The only problem is our lack of quality dependable headphones. Headphones are on our wishlist every year, and we will get a couple sent in. But they never last more than a few weeks, because our student's families cannot always afford extras like quality headphones. Then we have to tell students to listen quietly to their devices. These headphones are something that we use multiple times each day. I would love to receive funding to purchase a class set of some really good headphones for our class.
Thank you for this opportunity,
Mrs. Coates - 3rd to 5th Grade - McArthur Elementary School
My classroom is a place where students feel comfortable taking risks and being challenged to think critically. I love to integrate technology into our lessons as it can engage the learners and hold their attention.
My students are diverse in every sense of the word, however this diversity is what makes them so special.
They all come from very different backgrounds and socioeconomic classes. My school is a Title One school that has over 75% of our students that qualify for free-or-reduced lunch. Most of them come to me with a love of reading, but some just haven't found the genre they love to read. I have some students who love to be seen and heard and others who are quiet and shy. My school is supportive of its teachers, and I am proud of my community and school district.
These charging ports will help to keep our Chromebooks charged and organized. In my classroom, we integrate technology whenever we can, so having a charged Chromebook is very important. It is difficult to keep the cords for 20 Chromebooks from becoming a tangled mess, the Belkin Charging Stations will help keep our Chromebook area organized and easy to access.
The headphones/earbuds will be used daily when we are working on our Chromebooks.
We use a program, iReady for both reading and math, and the headphones will enable my students to be able to hear the lessons and important information that the program is teaching them.
Mrs. Freeland - 3rd to 5th Grade - McArthur Elementary School
Maximum Success With Movement! Help me give my students the opportunity to have a good fit learning space and to allow for the movement they need to be more successful.
The students I work with are students who love you unconditionally. This is a group of students who are lower performing. Some of them are still learning the basics of reading and math. A third of them need to have movement during their school day to help them succeed. This class is part of a neighborhood school that celebrates its successes even if it seems small. In my classroom we're working on skills that will help us have success in the General Ed curriculum.
The items that I have chosen will be beneficial for my students by giving them alternative seating choices that will allow them to have a good fit for their learning style. Almost every year one third of the students in my class benefit from allowance of movement. The seating options are very comfortable and the children get excited about being able to use them during their work time. I chose the color blue to go with my classroom which is a calming and less distractible color.
Allowing the children to choose what type of seating will best fit their needs for learning is a positive option and one less thing for them to have to think about.
Stephanie Pollack - 3rd to 5th Grade - North Santa Rosa County
I teach special need students ranging from age 3-5 in north Santa Rosa County in a self contained classroom. My students have a range of special needs that require them to have specialized instruction.
I know that my students would benefit most from sensory items! My kids have sensory impairments which cause loud noises, lights, and other stimuli to effect them greatly. I have already invested in light filters for my room but I would love to get more items such as light machines for calming, more calm down bottles, sensory toys, music items, flexible seating options, and much more.
I have been teaching special needs pre-k for two years now and have a strong desire and passion to help these kids. This donation would greatly help me meet my students goals and improve their abilities as they move into the next stages of their education.
Honestly, any help would be appreciated and our kids would be very gracious.
Jennifer Godwin - Librarian/Media Specialist - Warrington Elementary School
Hello, My name is Jennifer Godwin and I am the librarian/media specialist at the Title 1 Warrington Elementary School in Escambia County. I have made a video ( attached ) to explain the mission of our Starbooks cafe' . We would love any bean bag chairs, shelving, books, a mini fridge and paper coffee cups to help complete our own reading cafe'! We have attached links to some options ( but we are not limited to those, any gift is appreciated ).
Jazmine Bodiford - 1st Grade - Ferry Pass Elementary
My name is Jazmine Bodiford and I work at Ferry Pass Elementary, Title 1 School, as a first grade teacher. My students range from very low income homes, in foster care, having parents not around, and no parent involvement. I want my kids to always come to my room and feel comfortable, safe, and happy. I try to create choices for my students to make for themselves because that gives them control over themselves when they do not have control over their living situations. My kids crave love, care, and affection from anyone that will give it to them. I want my room to be an oasis for them. I try my best with my budget to give them flexible seating, but of course we do not get enough to provide enough. I would love to use the money for flexible seating options plus more STEM activities for them to stimulate their minds. If you would please consider my kids for donating those things. I know I, and those kids, would be eternally grateful!
Inspire, love, and learn!
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