And a Happy Friday to you all! The summer’s winding down, the U.S. Open is about to heat up (at least for me it is), and that means it’s (sadly) back to school time for kids across America. (I know it’s Good News Friday, but I have to pause for a moment to acknowledge the deaths of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, two journalists killed for absolutely no good reason on Wednesday. Please keep their families in your thoughts and prayers. And I wonder for the 4,323rd time, when any politician will have the cojones to take on the gun lobby.)
Two teacher-related Good News Friday stories for you this week. The first is a fairly remarkable idea called the Teacher Project. As you may or may not know, teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money each year buying supplies for their class, money that comes out of their own pocket, a pocket that’s lined with usually puny salaries from their job.
But an organization called Project Teacher does something fabulous: It has created a store in the Wichita, Kan. area where teachers can come in, choose what they need for their classroom, and leave without paying a nickel.
The program, created by Terry Johnson, whose wife is a teacher, relies on corporate donations, hand-me-downs, and local fundraisers
Teachers in the Wichita area can make an appointment to come in and get exactly what they need for their classrooms – no guesswork or one-size-fits-all donation lists – all courtesy of corporate donations, hand me downs, and local fundraisers.
School supplies, Terry says, are so individually tailored by school, grade, and teacher, that it makes the most sense to put resources directly in the hands of educators.
“Every little bit helps, but the teachers know exactly what the classroom needs,” he said.
This is a fabulous idea, one that many teachers I know would love to come to their town. Read more about the Project Teacher here.
**Next up, this was pretty entertaining. A West Des Moines school district employee meeting was “interrupted” by singing teachers the other day, performing a song called “One Day More” from Les Miz.
Really funny. But don’t quit your day jobs, OK?
**Finally today, I’ve had the Pegula family of Buffalo on my mind all week, for two reasons: One, I’ve watched promising American women’s tennis player Jessica Pegula win a couple of matches at the U.S. Open qualifying tournament (she plays today for a chance to reach next week’s main draw).
And a few days earlier I read this story about Jessica’s Mom, Kim Pegula, who happens to own the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres with her husband, Terry.
Kim Pegula’s story is inspiring; she was literally left on a street corner by her birth parents in South Korea as a toddler, then adopted by a New York family. How she has overcame that terrible beginning to make herself into a major force in rejuvenating Buffalo is in this great story by Sal Maiorana of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle newspaper.
Terrific feature on a smart woman. I’d love to root for her, but she owns the Bills, a rival of my Jets (also, I can’t wait till she gets as frustrated at Rex Ryan’s inept coaching as we did for five years.)