Our Northwest

Delivering joy to Portland teachers

Wednesday, November 20, 2013by  Kelsey Wickman


PEMCO supports Portland areas teachers through a partnership with Schoolhouse Supplies, a free store for teachers. Our WALLY events teams gets to help bring this partnership to life by visiting the store to help out by stocking shelves, picking up supplies, and for our most recent trip delivering supplies to the winners of the Teacher Appreciation Sweepstakes.

We filled up the WALLY van with $2,000 worth of school supplies, $500 for each winner, and headed out for a day of delivering the new supplies to classrooms in Portland. The winners were Madison High School counselor Chrys Pappas, Madison High School English teacher Michelle Kenney, Clinton DART School Language Arts teacher Debi Sallak, and Mount Tabor Middle School art teacher Molly Renauer.

One of our stops was Clinton DART School where Language Arts teacher Debi Sallak won! The DART program in Portland Public Schools helps support at risk students who would likely be unable to succeed in a traditional classroom setting. The work the teachers do at Clinton DART was really inspiring to us. The halls were filled with inspirational quotes, artwork, humor and reminders of things they have learned. Students here can range in age from 5th grade to seniors in high school and grade levels don’t always match students’ ability making engaging them a challenge.

Alan, the other Language Arts teacher at Clinton DART explained to us that he likes to consider these students “post-risk” because so many of them have already been through extremely difficult situations. We were lucky enough to receive a tour of the school and learn more about how much new supplies can really impact their students. Debi explained that rather than letting a student borrow something like a pencil grip she can give them one and let them pick a color and that can really brighten the day of a student in their program.

Our last stop we walked into the halls of Mt. Tabor Middle School where art teacher Molly won a huge supply of art supplies for her classroom. Students couldn’t wait to share with us what projects are next! Everything from murals to yarn art and drawing will be happening using the new paint and paper we delivered! It is no secret that school budget cuts often hurt art and music programs so we were glad to be able to support the art program at Mt. Tabor that was brought back 6 years ago. 

While the supplies we delivered are a huge help to these teachers Schoolhouse Supplies always appreciates help stocking their shelves with supplies. Check out what they need!

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