Free Store Interview: Tricia Bekker

Throughout the month of April, we’re partnering with Bank of America to Stock Our Shelves. In honor of that, we’re inviting some of our most passionate teachers, volunteers, and supporters to talk about school, supplies, and some of the key areas in our Free Store: “Basics,” “Math and Science,” “Reading and Writing,” and “Arts.” This week, we’re talking about Math and Science, and we’ll be hearing from Tricia Bekker, Treasurer of our Board and a Senior Manager of Business and Tax Services at Ernst and Young LLP.

TriciaBekker-e1377209586979What was your favorite math and science-related school supply in school? Do you use it in your daily life today?
My favorite math supply in school was the TI-80. Remember those? It was a graphing calculator with the little computer screen on top. I used it in my Statistics and other math classes in college. I thought it was the greatest invention ever. I don’t use it in my daily life today because I believe it was discontinued not many years after it was introduced. Plus, computers can now perform all of the functions and features that our calculators back in the day used to do. So now I rely on my computer rather than a TI-80 calculator.

What was your most memorable math/science class from your childhood?
My most memorable math/science class from childhood had to be when we got to dissect frogs in Biology. I remember clearly the little scalpels we used and the tiny little pins to hold the frog onto the rubbery mat inside a pan. I remember our frogs had eggs, which was so cool to see. And who can ever forget the smell of formaldehyde!

What inspires you to be involved in the work of Schoolhouse Supplies?
What originally inspired me to get involved in the work of Schoolhouse Supplies was to support teachers who, because of budget constraints, often have to spend their own money on supplies for their students. As a child, I recall my mother having to do this, and our family could barely afford our own supplies, so that never made sense to me. What keeps me inspired now is seeing the kids’ faces when someone hands them a backpack full of supplies. It’s like you’ve given them the world!

What’s your favorite section in our Free Store?
My favorite section in the free store would have to be the shelf with the folders on it. It’s so bright and colorful. It’s like walking up to a rainbow when you get to that section. You can’t help but smile when you see it.  🙂

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