Unexpected Visit from Wal-Mart

It really has been a while since I have been on to share exciting things going on in my second grade classroom. I feel like there is always so much going on but I am going to trying to get on here for a really good post once-a-month...that being said I have something AMAZING that I want to share.

Two years ago I was in search of something for my classroom but didn't have the money to spend out of pocket. A friend sent me to Donor's Choose. For those of you who don't know anything about it, I would HIGHLY recommend checking it out. It is free to sign up for teachers. I'd like to do a follow up post on the ins and outs of setting up your grant for Donor's Choose later.

Anyway, I have had 3 grants filled from Donor's Choose over the last year and a half. Recently, I was looking at getting more technology into my classroom. I tried a year ago to get a tablet grant fulfilled but it didn't get enough donors before the deadline. This school year I thought I would try again. I hadn't had anyone donate and thought maybe I would need to try again in the spring.

But then something unexpected happened.

Something I still can't quite wrap my head around.

I got a surprise visit.

I was in the middle of my first reading test with my class when my principal walked in. Thinking nothing of it, I assumed he was there for a walk-through.

But then I saw my assistant principal. I was sitting at my desk and students were coming up to me with their questions.

Then in walked our curriculum director.

Followed by my assistant superintendent.

Then in walked my superintendent.

I have to admit my heart dropped to my stomach and my first thought was they were coming to dismiss me. (I know they wouldn't come to someone's classroom to do that but I have never had an expected visit from 5 administrators before!!)

While all these scattered thoughts ran through my head as I kept working one-on-one with a student, I noticed some balloons in the hallway. I thought I saw a 3 and a 0 and I thought, maybe it is for me 30th birthday?

Then I noticed men in suits (no it wasn't Men In Black!!!) and more than a dozen Wal-Mart employees all walking through my doorway. I had NO IDEA what was going on. I was panicking thinking my students were going to flip out at all of the extra people joining us that morning. I think they were more in shock than anything else!!

It turns out, Wal-Mart had come to give us a few surprises that morning. Apparently, my administrative team was aware for a few weeks this visit was going to take place. News coverage was supposed to join them for their grand entrance but there was an unfortunate school shooting that had to be covered.

Wal-Mart had gotten wind of my Donor's Choose grant and had come to PERSONALLY fulfill my grant. In fact, they went above and beyond just filling the grant. Several district managers, store managers, department managers, and employees brought thousands of dollars worth of goodies for my classroom. (I think all in all including myself and my students there were over 50 people in my classroom during this visit!)

I'm still in shock.

  • They brought us 3 iPads for my classroom with Otterbox cases. (Seriously, these cases are amazing to withstand little kid abuse.)
  • A Radio Flyer red wagon filled with back to school supplies: crayons, glue, highlighters, tissues, hand sanitizer, notebooks, paperclips, bulletin board accents, erasers, pencils, glitter glue, pencil sharpener, construction paper and so much more!
  • A gift card for $490 to Wal-Mart. (After a National study was conducted, on average most classroom teachers spend around $500 per year on classroom supplies.)
  • An iPad for my use at home and in the classroom.
  • A healthy snack: lots and lots of apples!
    I felt like a Publisher's Clearing House winner!!!

    This adorable wagon was covered with tulle using our school colors and was such an adorable way to present school supplies! It was like Christmas for teachers!

    Can you tell my kiddos were in shock and SUPER excited? (They also got out of their math test later that day so they were REALLY glad Wal-Mart visited!!)

    I've never had more volunteers to hold a piece of paper in my life!
I honestly can say I have never been more surprised (well, maybe my husband's proposal but that's about it!!) by anything especially in my professional career.

Apparently, Wal-Mart visits different school districts each year and chooses a classroom to shower with gifts and goodies. I am beyond thankful and grateful they chose me this year. This is something my students talk about almost daily and we are thoroughly enjoying all of the extra goodies they brought us.

I cannot guarantee this type of excitement will come with a Donor's Choose grant but believe me, there are companies out there who are more than willing to help out teachers with much needed supplies. I know it seems a little strange asking for such large and expensive items but you never know what you can get if you don't ask.

So to everyone all the North Versailles, PA Wal-Mart, from the bottom of my heart. You made this year the BEST YEAR EVER for not only my students but for me as well!!

Stay tuned for a follow up post on how to submit a Donor's Choose grant.

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