Howe Elementary School's staff surprised with $5,000 of school supplies

Teachers at Howe Elementary School in Green Bay pose for a picture after being surprised with a $5,000 donation of school supplies on August 30, 2017. (Photo credit: WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Teachers at a Green Bay elementary school are receiving a helping hand as they head back to work.

The Meemic Foundation, the non-profit arm of Meemic Insurance Company, surprised Howe Elementary School staff Wednesday afternoon with $5,000 worth of school supplies.

The Meemic Foundation is celebrating 25 years of giving back to education.

“I said let’s help the school in my backyard, they're only a block away, and I know that they could use it,” said Jim Mayefske, an insurance agent out of Green Bay for Meemic.

Teachers were brought to the school’s gym, told there was a reward for a scavenger hunt they did. Howe's principal revealed the real prize.

“I was shocked,” said Katie Wavrunek, a kindergarten teacher at Howe. “What an honor.”

Wavrunek says Meemic's donation will be put to use quickly in her kindergarten classroom.

Howe is classified as high poverty, meaning teachers like Wavrunek often can't count on families to fill their child's backpack with necessary supplies.

“We want them to be fed, clothed, happy kids,” said Wavrunek. “Those happy kids are happy learners and if we can help supply some of those other pieces to fill their needs, we're willing to do that.”

A recent national study shows $945 is the average amount a teacher spends out-of-pocket each year for classroom materials.

Wavrunek says she typically spends $1,500. She says she is very appreciative of Meemic's donation.

“Our back to school is definitely a time where kids show their needs and its one of those times where we want to be able to help them, so having them come in to support us, to support the community, we are blessed,” said Wavrunek.

The Meemic Foundation is presenting similar surprise donations at eight other schools across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan.

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