Great educators have great stories. This series gives a glimpse of the ideas, practices, and experiences of the recipients of the NEA Foundation’s California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence. Today, we’re sharing the words of Gloria Pereyra-Robertson, a kindergarten educator at Howard Elementary School in Medford, OR.
Sometimes we take everyday conveniences for granted, and we tend to forget that not everyone can provide for these basic needs. Every year, I create a list of things that my students need and want and either post it on Facebook or call friends and businesses to help fund my project through donations. I call it my Santa’s Secret Shopper Program.
It is amazing to see the generosity of people who want to help in our community and how much it is truly appreciated. It brings smiles to students’ faces and hope that people do care about them and their families into their lives.
Throughout my years of teaching, I have raised over $25,000 in goods and services to help students and their families.
I am successful at doing this because I am willing to discuss and educate people about the needs of my students and the hardships they confront daily.
The best part of my program is that I get the opportunity to talk with so many people who truly care about children and helping them become successful and productive members of society.