#WIN Office Max & A Day Made Better : Stop Teacher Funded Classrooms : $50 GC GIVEAWAY : [CLOSED] : #rafflecopter


Once upon a time, I was a third grade teacher. I had fairy tale ideas of what teaching would be like. Reality struck when I got my own classroom. Starting from scratch was very costly and went way over the small budget the school district gave me to fund my room. My teacher’s salary was on the low end anyway… so any time I had to dig into my pocket it was somewhat painful. I quickly found that this is more of the norm that an exception.

Office Max contacted me and asked if I would be interested in joining the Max Moms for teachers program to help create awareness and give back to teachers. The Max Moms are working to help promote “A Day Made Better” cause founded by OfficeMax and nonprofit Adopt-A-Classroom to help erase teacher-funded classrooms. October 4th, Office Max surprised 1,000 teachers nationwide with $1,000 in school supplies. Teachers were nominated by their principals for going above and beyond in the classroom. This total of $1 million in school supplies is meant to help alleviate the financial burden and thank teachers for their hard work.


I was fortunate enough to join in the fun of giving. Office Max sent me a Day Made Better box with approximately $100 in supplies to surprise a home town teacher. Looking through the box I knew that these particular items would have been helpful in my 3rd grade classroom and I knew just the teacher I wanted to gift this to.

It took some work, our schedules didn’t mesh well, but I was able to surprise her at her home Wednesday night. She mentioned she had noticed some posters/boxes in Office Max but wasn’t completely aware of the promotion. She was beyond delighted to be the recipient of this gift. As I left her house I could still hear her squeals of delight while chattering with her husband. Being able to participate in this left me smiling all night long.


Now it’s YOUR turn to make a teachers day!!



Are you a teacher & funding your own classroom? Do you know a teacher you’d like to surprise?

One OurKidsMom reader is going to win a mini cause box and $50 gift card to OfficeMax for school supplies!



Simply follow the directions in the widget below. It’s that simple.


but they are still very much appreciated and adored :O)


Do you enjoy OurKidsMom and the giveaways?

Please take a second to vote for us on Top Mommy Blogs! One click on the banner below and you’re done…


Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory



You do not have to be a blogger to enter/win. An email address is required to enter. The winner will be chosen randomly through Rafflecopter and contacted via email. A reply to the winning email is required within 48 hours before a new winner is chosen. One person entering per household please. U.S. only.

This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on October 21, 2011.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received a t-shirt to participate in this program. No other compensation was given. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. Your experience with the product may differ from mine. The sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment and will be shipping the winner(s) their prize(s). For more information read my disclosure policy.



    1. Rochelle says

      My niece’s teacher is innovated because she knows how to engage young minds. She comes up with ideas that get kids excited about learning. I wish all teachers had her passion. Thanks!

    2. hclever says

      The teachers in my sons 3rd grade classroom go way over and beyond! They know every child in the classroom, their strength and weaknesses. They are passionate about teaching each of these kids to the best of their abilities. It’s a CTT class and each child there
      has such different needs. They are true advocates of the children.

      hclever1 at gmail dot com

    3. My daughter’s 1st grade teacher last year. Was the most patience, kind innovative teacher I have ever met. She tried to incorporate new technology into her classroom for a fun but stimulating learning experience. She also took the time to work with my daughter on her reading.

    4. Ashley Siegle says

      I would nominate my sons teacher. I guess I didn’t realize how much teachers depended on their own income to supply their classroom until this semester in college (I am going to school to become a teacher!!!!) in my Introduction to Early Childhood Education class. I would LOVE to surprise his 2nd grade teacher with a box of supplies! He is such a passionate teacher and he is so big on 1. positive feedback and 2. rewards for good behavior. My son comes home every night with a new comment about his teacher complimenting good behavior, or telling him how good actions bring good results, etc. I am so happy he has a teacher that gives so much attention to good behavior rather than focusing on the negative!

    5. amy hollingsworth says

      My daughter’s teacher, Mrs. Fairless, is the teacher I would nominate because she is so dedicated and works so well with every child in her classroom. Not only do I feel this way, but kids and Mom’s from her past students…she deserves it!

    6. Carol Pennington says

      Laura Pennington is in her first-year of teaching geography at Baltimore’s Stadium Middle School. She is a struggling Ph.D. graduate student (Virginia Tech) herself who really struggles with her budget to provide what she needs for her classroom. She goes out of her way to provide creative curriculum, to be available to her students and to look for every opportunity to obtain funding to help her in that pursuit. She also tries to provide a “lunch in” with the teacher both as a reward and a way to provide a social time and good food for students who are sincerely making an effort. She also teaches an “extra” class in Tap Dancing and could use this money for used tap shoes for her students or to bring in a street or other performer to her classroom.

    7. sarah shult says

      My daughters teacher uses music & a lot of socialization is the classroom which helps the students transition between activities more effectiently

    8. kelley wood says

      my sons teacher is very passionate and sweet. Id love to nomiate her.

    9. clynsg says

      I would like to nominate a friend of my daughter’s, who teaches in an inner city school with some very needy children. She could probably transfer to any of the other elementary schools in the city, but feels she is more needed where she is, despite the crowded classrooms (the city reorganized the system and closed several schools), sometimes desperate children and parents, and the need to supplement supplies from her own pocket. I would call that dedication.

    10. Kimberly McCullers says

      A friend from High School became an elementary teacher. She recently had a baby and I think it would help her out a lot! She has always been kind & helpful and it would be nice for her to see some of that come back!

    11. ericka coello says

      this is my brother in law, he is a history teacher and I know for sure he loves his profession. he is constantly watching the news, documentaries, reading books and newspapers. He deserves some kind of appreciation.

    12. april yedinak says

      I would use the GC to purchase more art supplies because there are never enough.

    13. I would nominate my best friend who is an ESL teacher (Spanish specialty) but is trying to learn some Polish since her school has a large Polish student population.

    14. Jessica Bradley says

      Wow, this speaks to me so much!! Both my best friend , my older sister and my cousin are teachers. They all teach in very different places, one in a one room country school, one in a small town elementary school, and the other in a big town elementary school. They all face this same issue. We expect teachers to teach our children to there best but then continually cut there funding, and then complain that soemthing is not available to our child. The money comes from somewhere! I have seen first hand, you have teachers who do evertyhing in there power to teach and provide a wonderful classroom, often using their own limited funds to make this possible! And even provideing things for the children that cannot provide them for themselves. I beleive this is above and beyond the scope of a teacher, but it as unfortanately became the norm! I can not think of another profession that you would be asked to make so little, purchase many of your own supplies, be entrusted with the most special gifts known and ensure they learn, all while being under constant scrutiny of others. God Bless those that choose to take this task on and do it well!!

    15. Sheri Schmidt says

      My daughter is a third grade teacher who has 18 children in her classroom. She spends so many extra hours outside of school time to work in her classroom creating innovative uses for what she is given to work with. She is dedicated and passionate about giving her “kids” the best possible education.

    16. Our Kindergarten and 3rd teachers are amazing. The 3rd grade teacher is very passionate about learning and allows the children to really take charge of their educatin (as much as possible). This is the 1st year my son has actually not complained about having to go to school, and his behavior is great). Our kindergarten teacher (who happened to be my oldest’s kindergarten teacher as well) is very creative. She recycles to create new activities, the children love to see what she will come up with next.

    17. My mom and aunt are teachers. They have been for many years. My mom is very passionate. She has worked with ESE for several years and now works with migrant kiddos.

      livelovelaughwithleslieblog at gmail dot com

    18. Kari Howell says

      My son’s teacher has been so patient with him. She realizes his strengths and weaknesses and works with those areas.

    19. Natalie U. says

      My niece teaches children with autism, and she has the patience of a saint. This is only her second year and funds are so tight that if she purchases things for her classroom, its out of her pocket. It has been extremely difficult for her, but she is dedicated to working with children that at lot of people have given up on or have no patience with.
      pedidentalasst at yahoo dot com

    20. Fawn H says

      My neighbor is a teacher and I know she spends a lot of her own money on supplies for the kids in her classroom that can’t afford it, she also tries to help outside of the classroom as well with helping the parents find programs that could help with clothing, food and afterschool care.

    21. Marilyn Wons says

      My grandsons english teacher is who I would like to nominate

    22. Margaret Smith says

      My son had a wonderful teacher for a few years that was a speech specialist & special ed. teacher. She teaches pre-k and the younger grade school kids and is so passionate about teaching. I would give this to her.
      Thanks so much

    23. Bonnye Sensenig says

      My sister is an amazing teacher and truly selfless. She provides snack for all of the children in her classroom twice a day out of her pocket. I would love to win this for her

    24. Heather H says

      My niece’s teacher is amazing and dedicated. My niece has juvenile diabetes and must take shots daily and while at school. She learned how to give the shots even though she was so scared and had never done it before but now she’s a pro.
      hendymartin1 at yahoo dot com

    25. Kimberly schotz says

      Our daughter is 14 years old and non verbal with Down Syndrome and Autism. Bethany’s teacher programed her I Pad for her and taught her to use it. We were able to understand her with signing and gestures but now her classmates and others can understand what our precious girl is saying. This would not of happened without her very dedicated teacher.

    26. Robin says

      The most innovated teacher is my daughter in law. She has a teaching degree from the University of Colorado. She gets no funding she is a home school teacher. My oldest granddaughter is in her 3rd yr of latin testing at middle school levels. The youngest is 5 and is reading at 2nd grade levels. Hats off to HOME SCHOOL MOMS!!

    27. Jennie Swencki says

      My daughters 1st grade teacher has a couple of troublemakers this year. She never lets this get in the way of teaching the rest of the class. She works hard and makes learning fun. My daughter is excited to go to school everyday. This would be such an awesome way to show my appreciation for everything.

    28. Renee Addison-Hutchinson says

      I would like to nominate my son’s kindergarten class. She is very patient with him even with his issues.

    29. Julie H says

      My daughters teacher is the best she has tons of energy and has the kids going all the time with games and jokes and laughter it works and she is learning so I love it:)

    30. valerie mabrey says

      Innovative is the word that best describes her.
      vmkids3 at msn dot com

    31. jenn says

      my 14 yr old daughters soctratic teacher took the time to call me and ask about laurens family situation she is a victim of divorce and her dad remarried and just divorced so all this has affected laurens school life

    32. Geoff K says

      I’d nominate my nephew’s kindergarten teacher for being extremely passionate and innovative – she incorporates a lot of creative, outside-the-box methods for teaching her lessons, which instills a love of school and learning in her students from day 1. Thanks!

    33. I’d love to nominate my daughter’s fifth grade teacher. My daughter couldn’t be happier to go to school every day. I’d love to help out their classroom!

    34. Joan Colalillo says

      I have been teaching for 3 years, this is my fourth. I have probably spent over $5,000 over those years on my classroom. The problem I have is that I LOVE to make sure that my kids have everything they need, even if that means I have to provide it. Regardless of who gets the free gift box, I thank you for acknowledging what teachers are doing. Last year I had a student I would adopt if I could. When she told me she didn’t have a Christmas tree because it broke…. my heart broke as well. Now my little lovebug has a tree, some ornaments and lights for this year too. The joy I get is in thinking that maybe that is a memory she will always have starting when she just was 9 in my 4th grade classroom. I love what I do, and I want to continue to do more. Thanks for loving our teachers! 🙂 Joan

    35. Julie Witt says

      I homeschool but I can’t afford a lot of things for our “classroom” so I would like to buy a globe, a chalkboard, and a painting easel for arts and crafts time!

    36. I would like to nominate my husband Darryl Copeland who is an outstanding teacher in an inner city school. he is a teacher who sees teaching as more than just a profession. For Darryl, teaching is a calling. He is the type of teacher who will pay for a student to go on a field trip out of his own pocket rather than have them miss out on a learning opportunity. Together we shop sales all year long so our students can have the school supplies our students need but their families cannot afford. He is not the type of man who is looking for the recognition. The success of each student is his reward but I wanted to let you and the whole world know what a wonderful teacher he is

    37. Katharine says

      My son’s teacher is a first year teacher and she has brought passion and energy to the job like I have never seen before. My son comes home and asks to do more homework than he has to do because he is SO excited about learning.

    38. Leslie says

      I’d like to nominate my daughter’s teacher, Mrs. Wakeland. She’s dedicated because this is her 25th(!) year teaching kinder… all at the same school.

      (I would nominate my mom … if she were still teaching!)

    39. Donna B. says

      My son’s second grade teacher judges each student on their own merit and teaches them accordingly. She doesn’t get hung up on labels, but rather truly works with each student to help them achieve their personal best and really ignites their passion for learning. I wish we could clone her, and I’m grateful that my son had her as a teacher at a critical time in his development.

    40. Rebekah Mercier says

      My son who is in pre -K has the most awesome teacher. Mrs. W…. My son went to daycare as a young baby but has been home with me for the most part and doesnt remember daycare. He had a hard time starting school. When he went for testing she was one of the teachers doing the testing and he took to her. She looked for his name and asked for him to be put in his class. He loves school now and comes home everyday talking about how great she is.

    41. Ellen B says

      Patient is the best word – my grandson has learning disabilities and he is trying out kindergarten

    42. shay says

      I would use it to buy new pastels.

    43. Pauline M says

      I know that my son’s 5th grade teacher is very passionate about teaching. My son’s class is not the easiest to deal with and there are a few kids that a difficult and she manages to make it all look so easy. I have no idea if she funds her class, but I’ve always learned that everything is useful with school and I try to give when I can!

    44. Eileen says

      The teacher Id love to gift is a 5th grade teacher that ALL 3 of my youngest was lucky to have. SHe is very dedicated and took time out to do a mentor program afterschool even as her own little ones were in day care. My daughter benefitted greatly from this, being a bit afraid of her school and she will never forget this teacher. She could really use the extra help in the classroom with supplies. thanks!

    45. Pauline Milner says

      The teacher I would nominate is passionate, dedicated and innovative. I do not know how she keeps her classro0m so well stocked with such a meager budget. She must be a miracle shopper. She is the special education teacher at the local middle school. She makes sure the kids have lots of items to stimulate their senses. The kids in her room absolutely adore her and their parents are thrilled to see such improvements in their children. It would be great to surprise her with this gift.

      Thanks for offering this great giveaway opportunity. ~Pauline (dod@rogers.com)

    46. BG says

      My son-in-law is a high school History teacher and it takes a lot of energy to keep these kids engaged in learning. Innovative teaching tools would be helpful in sparking a fire in learning.

    47. Heather S says

      My niece’s teacher is so patient and innovative. She keeps all the kids interested by making learning fun. I am amazed at how well she works with all personalities

    48. Monique Rizzo says

      Passionate for sure.
      Thanks for the chance.

    49. jennifer dansberger jones says

      I would like to nominate Angie Culberson. She is a 3 yr old teacher at learning tree academy which is a public school pre K program for children 3&4 years of age. Ms. Culberson teaches children with special needs to make sure they get the education all children deserve. She pours her heart and soul into every child regardless of how challenging or frustrating the child’s behavior may be. She provides encouragement to each child, gearing lessons to each childs level of learning and advocates for services that well help each child grow and develop the skills they need to live successful lives. In a world where some parents or guardians have written off children at this young of age, she is a ray of light.

    50. ElizaBeth says

      I would use the $50 to buy printer paper and ink. As my kids’ teacher I supply all materials for learning.

    51. Annmarie W. says

      My son’s 4th grade teacher is a great example of a passionate teacher who loves her job! She used to teach 5th grade, and my daughter had her then. She understands the strengths & weaknesses of her students. She challenges them to think independently, and has a reward system for good behavior and study habits. She has really helped my son in his writing this year (his weakness) and gives him more challenging work in math (his strength). Through it all, she makes the classroom a fun environment so the students are glad to be going to school each day!

    52. Melinda Mendy Dinsmore says

      She motivates my niece to be her best at everything. She is the best teacher.

    53. Stephanie G says

      The teacher I would like to nominate, Ms. Foss is so dedicated to her students that she spends extra time outside of school helping students in any way she can to succeed in their school lives and personal lives.

    54. Heather says

      My son’s teacher is passionate about her Kindergarteners. She always comes up with innovative ways to reward their efforts.
      hschonrock at yahoo dot com

    55. tiffany mocerino says

      I would use the $50 to buy so math tools

    56. I’d like to nominate my son’s teacher. She has several kids in the class (including my son) who I’m sure try her patience, but she is always bright and cheerful and she knows that all kids can grow and change. She is amazing!

    57. Robyn Galloway says

      My twins are in 1st grade and their teacher is simply awesome! One of my daughters has a mild learning disability and has struggled greatly with reading. Her teacher has worked so hard with her and given her extra attention to help her get caught up with the other kids. She emails weekly with her progress and is constantly for other ways of teaching that may work for her. You can tell that she cares individually about all of her students and goes above and beyond. It has been such a stress and worry reliever for me to know that my daughter is getting the attention that she needs and has such a proactive teacher. I would love to surprise her with this to say Thank You.

    58. Sadie says

      I would buy math supplies. Calculators and rulers.

    59. Hunter Varipapa at Hardin Park School in Boone, NC truly LOVE each child in her class. She goes out of her way to make sure every child has a great experience. I have a child with special needs and on a special diet and she and her assistants made special snacks for him so he wouldn’t be left out of curriculum projects that involved food. (Even though I said I would do it myself if they told me what they needed.)
      They have a great knack for taking household trash (empty containers, empty boxes) and creating awesome learning experiences.

    60. Allison Downes says

      My daughters teacher is super dedicated! Sh also is great motivation to my daughter!

    61. Rita M says

      My daughter’s 6th grade teacher – Mr. Olson – is the quintessential dedicated teacher. Math & spelling drills became olympic-style competitions and everyone participated. When my daughter was in his class she was extremely shy – the next thing we know, she’s performing in the class play. Mr. Olson’s love of teaching has always extended beyond the classroom – when cutbacks prevented them from putting on a play – he started a kazoo band – complete with work pail drums, they perform in local parades. My daughter’s essay for college entrance was about Mr. Olson & what an inspirational teacher is. They (the really good & passionate teachers) are rare gems & I’ll always be grateful that my daughter reaped the benefits of one of the best.

    62. Amy says

      She goes above and beyond. She has 24 kids in her classroom and I know she buys a ton of stuff for her kids out of her own pocket. She takes the time to do things like cook for them (like Italian food when they are studying Italy) and she started a garden club for her school. They grown vegetables, learn about them, and take care of the garden. Things many children never have the opportunity to do.

    63. Daniel M says

      my english teacher always makes it fun to learn by acting out poems & sonnets

    64. I’m passionate because I teach my own children. I would use it to buy a variety of papers and writing instruments!

    65. Joye Rast says

      I would nominate my daughter, she has been a Head Start teacher for 15 years, she has a passion that comes up with creative ways to get the students interested in learning. She thinks of them as her children and want to give them a good start for a good life.

    66. Jen Harriman says

      my daughters teacher is a great guy. He is very versatile and can deal with the pressures of every year teaching a new grade! He has been swapped from K to 1st & 3rd & is now a 2nd grade teacher. Her schools grade goes to 5 & he jokes he wants to teach each grade 🙂 Every child in every grade has loved him so it would be a great way to say thank you!

    67. Crystal Yaeger says

      My children moved to a new state last year. Mr Finch has not only helped them feel like home but have encouraged both of my girls to be a part of his drama department. One is on the stage and the other is a part of the production team. It has helped my daughters grow closer together and helped them feel at home here.

    68. Pauline M says

      My son’s 5th grade teacher is awesome. Not only does she have the unique talent of keeping a larger class in line, but she also manages to keep them interested and in the know as well. My son comes home wanting to learn extra tidbits about what he had learned that day so that he can share them with his teacher the next day!

    69. I’m a teacher and I’d get tons of supplies.. I need a new camera memory card and lots of pencils and notebooks

    70. Becky says

      Both my daughter and son’s teachers spend a lot of their own monies on supplies for the classrooms, bringing in stuff fro low income kids.

    71. Susan Smith says

      My daughters English teacher is passionate and dedicated to her profession and I’d love to give her this gift card.

    72. My science teacher in high school, Mrs. Bell, gets my vote. She keeps her students’ attention and makes science exciting.

    73. staci wells mefford says

      Thank you . My son’s teacher is all of those Things and more. The teachers have to spend so much of their own money . We help out as much as we can.

    74. Donna K says

      Mr Miller is dedicated.