The program uses social media as a platform for teachers to share their needs, with many posting links to their Â“wish lists.Â” Some local officials, businesses, and residents have responded by granting several of those wishes.
Maranda Dady Stafford began the program last year as a way to give back to those who work in the very school system which helped shape her life and career. She says the idea was inspired by a similar program in place for the school district located in Bedford County, Tennessee, where she currently lives. An educator herself, Stafford is also a Bethlehem alumnus. She says the program is a tribute to the family legacy of dedication to education that she shares with her husband, Ponce de Leon graduate Casey Stafford.
MarandaÂ’s late uncle, Donald Dady, retired as a beloved Assistant Principal at Bethlehem School. CaseyÂ’s parents, Mike and Elaine Stafford, are each retired from teaching in Ponce de Leon, and his sister, Kisha Stafford, currently teaches at Bonifay K-8.
Â“Teachers are notorious for reaching into their own pockets to buy supplies for their classrooms to ensure students have the best learning experience possible,Â” said Maranda Stafford. Â“This group is a way to share some love for our local teachers and give back to those who give so much of themselves.Â”
Bonifay K-8 teacher Miriam Beasley says the Adopt a Teacher program has made preparing for classrooms a lot easier.
Â“To know our community desires to help us is truly touching,Â” said Beasley. Â“Every time I open a box, I genuinely feel the hugs from each person. I am overwhelmed with the true kindness of people. Even if itÂ’s one gift, it makes a big difference. I am sincerely thankful for the Adopt a Teacher program and the community that supports us through their donations and/or prayersÂ”
Click here to adopt a Holmes County teacher. A specific teacherÂ’s wish list may be found by utilizing the pageÂ’s search bar.