Roots and Wings uses State Farm grant to support Freedom Shores teachers

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Jun 15, 2021 2:36 PM

Joining Samantha Izhaky, center, as she receives her award are, from left, Donald Uselman, Roots and Wings Education Committee chairman; Nelli Coffman, Freedom Shores ESOL coordinator; a Jake from State Farm display; Michael Sabatino, school principal; and Ted Hoskinson, Roots and Wings founder and CEO.

Joining Samantha Izhaky, center, as she receives her award are, from left, Donald Uselman, Roots and Wings Education Committee chairman; Nelli Coffman, Freedom Shores ESOL coordinator; a Jake from State Farm display; Michael Sabatino, school principal; and Ted Hoskinson, Roots and Wings founder and CEO. (Roots and Wings/Courtesy)

Honoring teachers and their efforts to go the extra mile during the pandemic, State Farm recently awarded a $2,500 grant to Roots and Wings’ Above and Beyond Awards program that it sponsors at Freedom Shores Elementary School in Boynton Beach.

Award recipients included Samantha Izhaky, Alberta McLaurin, Jennifer Hart, Vanessa Parajon, Barbara Allegro, Fernanda Tedesco and Rose Medelus.

The award included a canvas “Dedicated Educator” tote bag containing $100 in cash for the purchase of classroom supplies, a framed Above and Beyond Award certificate, nearly $1,000 worth of gift cards, gift certificates and food items donated by area restaurants and service providers.

“Along with honoring teachers and providing cash and prizes to the winners, the State Farm grant ensures the school’s ability to have additional classroom supplies on hand, so the teachers are not put in the position of using their own funds when kids come to school without essential learning materials such as pens, pencils, erasers, paper and snacks,” Roots and Wings founder and CEO Ted Hoskinson said in a statement.

“Some kids are left out of classroom birthday celebrations unless treats are provided by the teacher,” he said. “Now, there will be plenty of vital classroom supplies on hand for the teachers to share with students whose families cannot afford to buy them.”

Twice a year, teachers at participating schools nominate their peers based on different criteria. Principals and administrators oversee the nominations and designate the faculty and staff members to be honored.

The State Farm grant covers the cost of the bags for Freedom Shores award recipients along with an additional $1,000 for the principal in order to establish a central classroom supply closet for teachers.

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