SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (CBS46) — The cafeteria at Lake Forest Elementary School looked more like a party spot on Tuesday as a DJ played music and teachers danced in the aisles.
Students were eagerly awaiting a surprise from Office Depot. Their parents were already in on the secret, according to the school’s new principal, Laryn Nelson.
“The parents were totally in disbelief: ‘I don’t need to buy school supplies this year? I don’t need to buy a schoolbag?’ It’s one hundred percent like, “No, Office Depot has it,” Nelson said.
Office Depot employees distributed free backpacks full of school supplies to each of the school’s 800 students as part of the company’s Start Proud!® program. Each student also received a $20 Office Depot gift card, thanks to the support of Domtar Paper.
“It’s amazing,” Nelson said. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude.”
Office Depot District Sales Manager Andrea Foster said the annual giveaway was “the right thing to do” and part of the company’s pillar of empowering education and strengthen communities.
“This Title I school is amazing with the students,” Foster said, “and just being able to take on that financial responsibility from their parents and being able to have everything they need is why we’re doing it so that students feel confident and proud.”
Students aren’t the only ones with big results. The principal randomly drew a teacher’s name from a bucket.
“I said to my co-worker there, I said, ‘If they call me, I’m going to jump all over the place,'” said fifth-grade teacher Ken Mitchell, who is in his 28th grade. .
Indeed, his name was drawn. He danced towards the stage, giving high fives to the students as they clapped loudly. Mitchell won over $1,500 worth of Office Depot items, including a new adjustable desk, Serta chair, copier and laminator.
“It’s quite expensive to be a teacher when you have to provide stuff for your own class, so that will really help you here,” Mitchell said. “It’s a great honor, and I’m so lucky.”
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