Kristen Bell may be known for her acting chops, but she’s been secretly giving back to others in need. In particular, she’s been helping teachers all over the country get the school supplies that they need for their students.
Many know that teachers in this country are underpaid for their work. Depending on funding from school districts, many of their school supplies in their classrooms are paid out-of-pocket. Knowing these facts, Bell decided to use her influence to step up to the plate. She launched an online campaign of her own to help teachers get the supplies they needed without breaking the bank.
In September 2018, Bell quietly launched the campaign on Instagram, initially calling it #10FeaturedTeachers. The name of the campaign was eventually changed to #FeaturedTeacherFriday. Each week, she would share the story of one deserving teacher and the great work that he or she was doing at school with students. Bell would then also share the link to each teacher’s Amazon wish list for supplies, encouraging her 12.5 million followers to donate. With that amount of traction, it’s no surprise that Bell’s #FeaturedTeacherFriday initiative has been doing very well!
Each week, teachers from all over the country that were featured on Bell’s Instagram page would get so many donations; it was completely unbelievable for most. One teacher, in particular, Veronica Landa, couldn’t believe the outpour of love from strangers. Landa, who is a middle school Spanish teacher in Long Island, New York, wrote to Bell about her dreams for her sixth and seventh-grade students in her Title 1 school and the supplies she would need to help them grow. “This opportunity would help me incorporate books to expand my Spanish library and enhance students’ reading comprehension skills,” she wrote to Bell. “My students will also be able to improve their speaking and writing skills and knowledge of the Hispanic culture.”
Landa was chosen to be featured earlier this year and received not only book donations but also a new laptop! “People were able to send a note with each thing they bought, and I was just sitting there crying, overwhelmed with what people were saying,” Landa said in an interview with Good Morning America. “There was even a girl who is 16 and took her own money and bought me a book. She said she wants to become a music teacher, and the fact that a 16-year-old was supporting me, it put me in tears.” With the donations, Landa has been able to refresh her curriculum to better challenge and educate her students in Spanish class.
Making The Nomination
Bell’s posts are simple but very effective. Like Landa, several other teachers from all over have been flooded with gifts, packages, and supplies from their Amazon wishlists. One elementary school teacher, Kristin Riggs from Belmont, North Carolina, shared her great experience with being featured on Bell’s page. She received hundreds of packages after that from all over the world. “I even got a gift from the UK and Zimbabwe!” she told reporters at WCNC. The supplies and gifts are all for a greater cause—to support teachers as they educate the minds of young people in this country. Hopefully, these children will then be able to go on and make a positive impact on the world around them. “I’m really happy because it’ll really benefit my students, and that’s my No. 1 goal,” she added.
If you want to nominate yourself or a teacher to be featured on Bell’s Instagram, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can help a teacher who has not been featured by going to the Donors Choose website and donating to an educator on the nonprofit’s website.
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