Staples Surprises Local Teachers In Time for Back To School Shopping

Back to School is a sensitive issue when the sun is shining, the splash pads are all open and August has just begun. In our household, we appreciate summer but also look forward to the routine of school, the social life, and (most of all for me the cooler fall days).

While we are all enjoying the dog days of summer, teachers are getting their classrooms ready and feeling that annual case of the butterflies as new student and families enter their classrooms. During my years as a teacher, I remember that anticipation well. The mix of excitement and nerves as I prepped my classroom, wrote out name tags, designed bulletin boards, and committed a set of 40 names to memory*

It is a well known fact that a teacher’s classroom budget is always stretched too thin, and teachers have a tendency to dip into their own humble funds to make it work. That’s where Donors Choose comes in. Donors Choose is a crowdfunding platform that helps teachers get what they need and allows the community to participate.

Paul Pierce partners with Staples this back-to-school season, supporting local teachers and students to set them up for a successful school year. Photo Credit: Andrew Estey

Last week, former Celtics star Paul Pierce surprised three local teachers with a gift of $5,000 each from Staples to fund their projects on Donors Choose.

Mr. Yu Chen of Josiah Quincy Upper School in Boston, Mrs Maria Ramirez Johnson of Joseph Hurley School in Boston, and Mr Tony Babecka of the Cambridge Public Schools were each presented with a $5,000 cheque courtesy of Staples. Each of these teachers have specific goals for their classrooms to help them give their students a better experience learning.

Pierce drew fans from far and wide. Many fans were A students in Celtics history. There were some school aged fans and others who choose to go back to school every fall as teachers.

One such teacher was Chris Ocampo, who showed up early on one of his last few Fridays of summer break with his students at the forefront of his mind. Ocampo bought a stack of Staples composition books for his Framingham High English class. Pierce happily signed the stack and I can only imagine how the students who receive these books will fill their blank pages throughout the year.

Paul Pierce partners with Staples this back-to-school season, supporting local teachers and students to set them up for a successful school year. Photo Credit: Andrew Estey

Students and teachers had the opportunity to shop side by side with Pierce checking out fresh new designs for backpacks, choosing just the right notebooks, and of course having items signed by Pierce himself.

Paul Pierce gravitated towards a backpack with his favourite post-season treats on it. When asked by the crowd which treat it was he listed it all “Pizza, ice cream, hamburger, fries. I like it all.”

If you have a favourite teacher from your own school days, or your child’s teacher, see if they have a Donors Choose page and help them meet their goals or bring a Staples gift card in (any amount helps) to show them your appreciation.


*40 students were from two classes. I hope no elementary teacher has that many students in one class. I had two 1st grade classes as I worked in a Bilingual school where students had their French teacher one day and their English teacher the next.

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