By Jacob Sturm
What started out as a plan to do some raffles for teachers turned into much more when an Extended School Year (ESY) coordinator, Tara Waller, made some calls to businesses.
The results showed the appreciation Mustang’s businesses have for the school district’s teachers.
In hopes of “keeping up morale and rewarding the hardworking educators who were serving ESY students”, the program received an outpouring of generosity through donations, which was able to do quite a bit for the Mustang teachers and paraprofessionals.
Donations for the cause included Buttersweet Cupcakes, who donated 48 cupcakes for a sweet treat one day. Baked bear donated enough Buy One Get One (BOGO) cards for each teacher and para, Starbucks in Mustang donated two boxes of coffee one of the mornings, Freddy’s in Mustang donated free meal and ice cream cards, Chick-Fil-A donated breakfast for all teachers and paras and bus drivers, Tropical Smoothie in Mustang donated free smoothie cards and Sonic gave all 25 teachers and paras a $5 gift card and free cheeseburger and drink coupons.
“All of the businesses were great when I spoke with them and did not hesitate at all to give to the teachers,” Waller is quoted to have said on the MPS Facebook account. “Thanks to all of the business, we were able to do weekly drawings for free smoothies, and Freddy’s, while also spoiling them with cupcakes, coffee and breakfast. Then, on the last day we were able to give each teacher and para (a) baked bear BOGO card, sonic gift card and free drink/burger.”
Kirk Wilson, Mustang Public Schools Director of Communications, complemented the community for their support.
“We are blessed to be supported by such a generous community,” Wilson said. “We are thankful that we have them, and we are always looking forward to finding more partnerships. If anyone is interested, then they can just reach out to us at email@example.com. We’d be happy to develop those partnerships.”
The extended school year program works with special education students during the summer. That takes dedication for teachers to work during the months school has not been in session to help teach these students.
ESY is offered every year. This year, it ran until the past few weeks. The same teachers who are working for the school district during the spring and fall semester are operating in the program, even though there is a separate application process for the summer work.
Not every teacher is doing the program. In fact, the district sees how many students will be involved and figures out how many staff members will be needed. Then, the application process goes out for teachers wanting to apply.
This year’s program took place at Centennial Elementary and Riverwood Elementary.