Walmart spreads joy at JFK

Published 9:33 pm Friday, October 12, 2012

Twenty lucky teachers at JFK Middle School received $50 gift cards and baskets of classroom supplies from the Main Street Walmart Wednesday. The happy group assembled for a photo in the school library.

One by one, 20 lucky teachers at JFK Middle shimmied and jived — most of them — to the front of the school’s library Wednesday to collect a gift card and basket of school supplies, courtesy of Walmart.

Suffolk’s Main Street Walmart distributed the goodies as part of the company’s nationwide teacher rewards program, which in 2012 will see donations of up to $4.5 million help 90,000 teachers.

Store sales assistant Allisia Sykes attended the school for the presentation with merchandise supervisor Paula Sadler.

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“A lot of the teachers use their own money to help with snacks and sometimes supplies,” Sykes observed. “This is just a little bit to help out toward that.”

Recipients of the $50 gift cards and baskets of supplies were drawn after teachers wrote their names on pieces of paper, then everyone enjoyed cake and fruit punch.

One teacher sounded a call for the gift baskets to go to “the 20 losers,” with another crying out, “It should be a consolation prize.”

Many broke with protocol and, though pocketing the gift card, plopped their baskets down in front of someone else on their way back to their seat.

A trend was started among the educators when one teacher whose name was drawn early on danced down to collect his prize.

“We always appreciate partnering with Walmart. They’re great partners,” JFK principal Vivian Covington said.

She said her teachers “put a lot of money into decorating to make their subjects come to life, and it’s good that Walmart can give them this money.”

Sykes, a JFK alumna, said that what kids learn in school today “will shape them into the men and women they will become.”

“Whether it’s a child needing a pencil … or a child who can’t learn because he or she is hungry and can’t concentrate … we know that you use your own money,” she told the JFK teachers.

“Today we are honored to provide 20 teachers at JFK Middle School with $50 teacher reward cards.”