Teachers say they welcome more support from parents, volunteers, and community partners, the study shows. Seven in 10 teachers report their schools are not able to provide them with all the necessary tools to effectively teach their students.

Since A Day Made Better debuted in 2007, OfficeMax and Adopt-a-Classroom have served more than 3,500 teachers and have attracted donations for 10,000 classrooms.

As part of the program, each winning classroom receives a digital camera, printer, and a large gift box containing essential classroom supplies. Teachers also receive a high-quality office chair.

“So many teachers’ desks and chairs are just horrible,” says Bonner. “We give them a leather work chair or office chair, and they get pretty excited about it.”

To identify the supplies included in the gift box, OfficeMax conducts research, surveying teachers and school administration on their greatest classroom needs. Typically, basics such as paper, colored paper, stickers, and pencils top the list. For the past two years, Bonner says, the No. 1 item has been electric pencil sharpeners.

“Teachers say that if they can get the line moving faster, they have more time to teach,” notes Bonner. “It just shows how teachers are really thinking about what they can do to improve learning.”

Award-winning eSchool News columnist Nora Carr is the chief of staff for North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools.

Links:

Adopt-a-Classroom

A Day Made Better