Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 |
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‘ELE‘ELE — Gary Towner of OfficeMax said studies done by OfficeMax indicate that teachers spend about $1,000 of their own money to do their jobs.
“In this tight economy, that is hard to do, and with the budget cuts, they might be spending more,” Towner said. “To help with this, OfficeMax has selected one teacher on Kaua‘i to have her Day Made Better. There are items from OfficeMax that come out to about $1,000 to help with her class.”
Spence Nonaka, a kindergarten teacher at ‘Ele‘ele School, was surprised when the annual fire safety assembly was interrupted by the presentation, her aide, Iris Hesapene, showing her to a new chair situated between the Fire Exit Plan and the Meeting Place display.
Nonaka was even more surprised to learn the chair was hers to keep, a part of the $1,000 in materials she could use in her classroom as the recipient of OfficeMax/Adopt-A-School’s A Day Made Better program.
Dr. Leila Nitta, principal of ‘Ele‘ele School, said the honor was voted on by the other teachers in the school, and Nonaka is one of eight teachers being honored around the state by OfficeMax.
Towner said the Hawai‘i program is part of a national OfficeMax and Adopt-A-School celebration, acknowledging the work being done by teachers across the nation.
Nonaka was presented a lei created from flowers around the campus by her dad Russell, and was seranaded by her own class with the ‘Ele‘ele School alma mater.
Nitta said the honor was well-deserved because Nonaka is one of those teachers who do a lot of work, going so far as to teach during the summer at the Keiki Steps program.
In addition, she spends her free time volunteering at the Salvation Army’s Kokua Soup Kitchen, and plays piano and sings with the ‘Ele‘ele Praise program.
Nonaka, in accepting the award, shared her achievements with her boyfriend Darren, her classroom aide, and her family who is supportive of her.
“I was once sitting where you were,” Nonaka said. “I’m grateful that I was able to come back and teach, here.”
A Day Made Better is a national cause event founded by OfficeMax and nonprofit organization, Adopt-A-Classroom, to lead the fight to end teacher-funded classrooms, states the A Day Made Better website.
In October, more than 3,500 OfficeMax association surprise and honor more than 1,000 teachers at 1,000 schools across the country with $1,000 worth of classroom supplies.
The name “A Day Made Better,” is derived from the concept that OfficeMax and Adopt-A-Classroom can make at least one day better for teachers by providing them with essential classroom supplies. The first celebration was done in October 2007, and has since contributed to the funding of more than 10,000 classrooms.
Visit www.adaymadebetter.com for more information.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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