Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

September 10, 2013

JELC teachers get big helping hand

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — A few fidgety youngsters couldn’t take away from the excitement of teachers at a Pauls Valley school getting a helping hand from a local business.

With students seated in groups they watched their Jefferson Early Learning Center teachers step up and receive a few tools to help their classrooms through a Walmart national education program.

Local store employees Larry Carnell and Sandra Perry were on hand to present things like gift bags and cards through the company’s Teacher Rewards program.

Using a little math, Walmart’s donation to the school adds up to $1,000.

“We believe in giving back to our communities,” Carnell said moments before teachers were handed their “gifts.”

“We know teachers here go that extra mile,” he said. “We want to help.”

What the teachers received were bags that included gift cards and a few other goodies like snacks.

They were all part of a program now in its fifth year designed to give teachers a little boost in getting the supplies they need for their classrooms.

“Walmart does a Teacher Rewards program,” Carnell said. “We present gift cards to teachers.

“Twenty teachers get $50 gift cards to help them buy supplies for their classrooms,” he said.

“It saves them from having to buy those supplies out of their own pocket.

“They also get gift bags filled with supplies and snacks.”

Put simply, Carnell stressed the cards are meant to help offset some of the expenses the teachers absorb themselves for classroom supplies.

Last year it was the teachers of the local Jackson Elementary who got the help from the Walmart program.

This year that Pauls Valley school is JELC.

It clearly means a lot to Mia Lisa Wigley, who is at the start of her first year as principal at the school.

“It’s quite an honor,” Wigley said after most of her teachers went up one by one to receive their gift bags and cards.

“These teachers do put a lot of money from their own pockets toward the education of their students,” she said.

“This is a big help to them.”