Teacher Receives $1000 in School Supplies

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A surprise on Tuesday leaves one Grand Island teacher with less out-of-pocket expenses. Mrs. Kathy Rasmussen of Engleman Elementary School received $1000 worth of school supplies from OfficeMax.

"It was a real surprise," she says.

Mrs. Rasmussen was nominated by Engleman Principal Maureen Oman because "she spends hundreds of dollars out of her own pocket for her classroom, her classroom always looks wonderful."

The surprise came as part of a national school advocacy program by OfficeMax. The "A Day Made Better Award" aims to erase teacher-funded classrooms.

"I think it's the way for Office Max to give back to teachers because teachers do spend a lot of money out of pocket, and with our limited amount of budget funds that all schools are in right now, we just don't have the liberty to have that much money allocated to school supplies," Oman says.

The additional school supplies will allow Mrs. Rasmussen to create more learning opportunities for her students, opportunities she might have had to pay for out-of-pocket.

"Everything I have in my classroom is set up for a purpose so I can see us finding, there will be a purpose for each part of that. You know, we use the three-ring notebooks. Everything, the supplies are all things that we do use in the classroom, and the kids see it as part of theirs too, and it's fun. They're excited about it just as much as I am," she says.

Mrs. Rasmussen says the free supplies will also allow her to redirect funds to other things like classroom decorations, which, she says, aren't just show.

"Terminology for math and reading, and social studies and science. All those things are up in the class now, where it was more decorating for seasonal things, but now it's become more rich in literacy," says Mrs. Rasmussen, who has taught for three decades.

Mrs. Rasmussen is one of 1000 teachers honored nationwide Tuesday. Engleman Elementary School also received boxes of donated school supplies.