FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2010
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204
Suzanne Teacher Wins Classroom Cash & Fresh Fruit
WALNUT, CA—Several weeks ago, Alice Chen, an 8th grade Language Arts teacher at Suzanne Middle School entered the “Teacher Monday Cash for Classrooms” a contest sponsored by Del Monte. And with quick thinking and good networking skills, this veteran educator was declared one of 50 winners in the nationwide competition.
Each Monday the ten teachers with the most votes were declared winners.
Chen was selected one of the 2nd week winners on October 25 after garnering over 6,300 online votes.
Each teacher was awarded $250 in coupons for Del Monte products and $750 cash for their classrooms. The five-week Cash for Classrooms contest is for K-12 public school teachers across U.S., Canada, and Central America contest ran five weeks.
Chen rallied her friends, family, students, even Facebook friends to cast their votes for her. She sent home a note with her 127 students, notified staff, and asked close family and friends for their support. Chen also posted a request for votes on her Facebook status for a week. Each Chen “fan” could vote just once a day.
“Basically it (the voting) was by word of mouth,” she said. Her friends and family, in turn, recruited their friends and family. Even some of her former students now at Walnut High, college, grad school, and in the workforce helped out too.
Online contest entries included an essay about how the cash award would be used in the classroom. Chen plans to purchase an Apple iPad to promote the use of innovative technology and incorporate more multimedia for her students. The fresh fruit coupons will provide healthy classroom snacks and to encourage healthy eating choices.
“My classes and I really bonded over this event – we had a good time!” she said. Chen has been a Walnut Valley educator 17 years; this is her 10th year at Suzanne.
The program will also link winning North American classrooms with schools in Guatemala or Costa Rica. The 50 selected Central American schools will also receive $1,000 each for school supplies.
Chen selected Guardianes de la Piedra School in Costa Rica and plans to have her students develop a friendship with the students from this school.
Photo #1: First row: Paolo Camacho, Teacher Alice Chen, Jesse Valencia, David Yacoub, and Sabrina Uribe. Second row: Christina Su, Julian Ortega, Adam Broad, Athena Alberto, and Joleen Hajirnia.
Photo #2: Suzanne Middle School teacher Alice Chen celebrates winning the Del Monte “Teacher Monday Cash for Classrooms contest with students from all her classes.