LEICESTER, Mass. — Walmart awarded 20 teachers from Leicester's elementary schools each with a $50 reward card to purchase supplies for their classrooms Monday as part of the company's nationwide Teacher Rewards Program.
Through the program, Walmart stores across the country select local kindergarten through eighth grade public schools and provide gift cards to teachers to offset the cost of classroom expenses.
"This is the second year Walmart has done this for us," Superintendent Paul Soojian said. "So many of these teachers are constantly going into the store and picking up stuff for their classrooms, and this is just a way of recognizing them and giving them a little so they can get more for their class."
Walmart has been a great neighbor to the school district over the years, Soojian said, often stepping up to help and to make donations.
"It's really phenomenal," he said. "We truly appreciate it."
Sandy Kline, assistant manager at the Leicester Walmart, presented the cards to the 20 teachers, who were selected at random from Leicester Primary School and Leicester Memorial School.
"We know that in these challenging times, teachers across the country continue to provide (students) out of their own pockets to maximize their learning experience," said Kline.
As part of the program, Walmart has awarded $4.5 million to teachers across the country this fall.
The teachers' dedication was unquestionable, Memorial Principal Emily Soltysik said. And the teachers constantly give of themselves, by paying for snacks for children who come to school without one or by purchasing additional materials within their classroom, and Primary School Principal Kathy Pelley.
This year's awards went to:
Ann Marie Jackson