Her head almost disappearing as she dives into a box filled with school supplies, Sonia Rudolph, a fifth-grade teacher at PS 62 in South Richmond Hill, emerges, her hands clutching a three-hole puncher over her head in victory.
“Oh, this is great!” Rudolph exclaims. “This is exactly what I needed.”
The teacher received the hole puncher — and a whole lot more — from OfficeMax, which gave $1,000 in school supplies to 1,000 teachers across the country on Monday.
“We know the challenges teachers face,” said Taarif Isha, a store manager at OfficeMax. “They’re spending $1,000 or more each year for their classrooms.”
As part of the company’s fifth annual A Day Made Better event, OfficeMax also gave PS 62 Principal Angela O’Dowd $1,400 in school supplies to use throughout the school, which has about 1,000 students from 23 countries.
O’Dowd nominated Rudolph for the supplies, and she kept the secret for about a month that the company’s plan to give the fifth-grade teacher a box of goodies that included digital cameras, binders, paper and a variety of other items that will no doubt be needed over the course of the year.
But on Monday, it became a secret no more when a large group of company and school officials and students surprised Rudolph with the supplies.
“This is a huge help,” said Rudolph, who has taught at PS 62 for about 16 years. “Teachers easily spend $1,000 on supplies a year.”
O’Dowd said she nominated Rudolph because she’s “a fantastic teacher.”
“She does great teamwork, and she advances the students through a lot of visual arts,” O’Dowd said.
Rudolph and her students create numerous art projects throughout the year, and are currently in the process of making papier mache globes, which will soon be hanging from the ceiling.
“The hands-on experience really helps the students,” Rudolph said.
Since 2007, OfficeMax said it has funded more than 4,500 classrooms with more than $4.5 million in school supplies.