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Conover School gets helping hand

September 22, 2010

Conover School teacher Hope Laird, left, is
surprised with a $100 Wal-Mart gift card
Wednesday from James Schlie, an assistant manager
at the Conover Wal-Mart. Laird was one of
10 Conover School teachers randomly selected
to receive the gift cards as part of
Wal-Mart's nationwide Teacher Rewards Program.

One hundred dollars can buy 200 glue sticks, about 160 juice boxes or 450 colored pencils.
Ten teachers at Conover School must decide how to spend $100 in the classroom after they received $100 gift cards from the Conover Wal-Mart.
"It was for no other reason but because they appreciated what we do," said Conover School Principal Betsy Rosenbalm.
Wal-Mart notified Rosenbalm that Conover School was selected for the gift cards, and she kept the news a secret from the schools' teachers. Teachers were surprised Wednesday with a special reception presented by the Conover Wal-Mart and one of its assistant managers, James Schlie.
"We just know that Conover (School) has such a need," he said. "We're not saying that other schools don't have a need, we just felt Conover's was the greatest."
The gift card donation is part of Wal-Mart's nationwide Teacher Rewards Program. Schlie said teachers often spend $500 of their own money to pay for classroom supplies and other necessities not provided by a school system's restricted budget.
"Wal-Mart wants to give back to their communities in total," Schlie said. "We know teachers throughout the U.S. will often spend their own money."
Ten of Conover School's 20 teachers were randomly selected in a drawing to receive the $100 gift card.
"It's a combination of buying books and supplies (that costs money)," said Hope Laird, a Conover School teacher selected to win a gift card. "That goes quickly. It adds up. You just can't help it, it adds up."

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