Long before it started raining, way back in those fine cloudless summer days of July, Schoolhouse Supplies and PEMCO insurance took over Pioneer Courthouse Square for the Fire Up The Learning BBQ, with rockin’ tunes, prize giveaways and the chance to give $2,500 in school supplies to one lucky teacher.
That lucky educator was Edgar Solares, a fifth-grade teacher at Barnes Elementary School in Beaverton. This past Friday PEMCO and Schoolhouse Supplies teamed up to congratulate Mr. Solares and deliver a truckload of supplies to his classroom with the help of PEMCO’s distinctive green “WALLY” van. Both the children and teachers were overjoyed to accept the boxes of brand new school supplies that will be used in Mr. Solares’ two Spanish immersion classes. He team teaches students in the Two-Way Immersion program with Carolyn Sykes. In this program, Language Arts are introduced and taught in Spanish for all students and English reading and writing instruction are gradually added. Science, Social Studies, Math, and Health are also taught through a dual language method.
While the PEMCO team brought in three loads of supplies from the WALLY van, a group of students filed into Mr. Solares’ classroom and asked Courtney Berry, Schoolhouse Supplies Program Manager, a variety of questions: “What does PEMCO stand for? What kinds of supplies does your Free Store give away? How did Mr. Solares win the supplies? What supplies did you bring for us?” Mr. Solares had chose composition books, pencil boxes, rulers, pocket folders, copy paper, Spanish language books, calculators and tri-fold project display boards for his classroom. At the mention of display boards, one student’s face lit up with excitement! When asked what they use display boards for, the students shared that they had just completed reports on a country of their choosing and will next move on to studying the human body. These reports and learning topics seemed to be a highlight for Mr. Solares’ students, and it was clear that these new supplies were going to make a difference for them. Barnes Elementary has more then 70% of its students qualifying for the Free or Reduced Lunch program, so extra school supplies like these can often be out of reach for struggling families.
After the PEMCO team explained what their name meant (and received an excellent definition of insurance from a very smart 5th grader!), the students gathered together for a few photos and then it was back to class to continue the learning. We’d like to thank PEMCO again for all their support of local teachers and to congratulate Mr. Solares and his students on their wonderful prize.