Vendors Step Up with $4,300 in School Supplies for Teachers
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 17, 2019)
Ferndale, MI – Seeing teacher after teacher struggling to pay for supplies struck Jay Noonchester right in the heartstrings. He remembered growing up poor, in a school district down river where students had to huddle in groups of three to share the limited number of textbooks.
“How can teachers do their jobs without supplies? These are the people educating our children. That’s so important,” he said.
Noonchester, who owns The Bosco in Ferndale, decided he would talk to a few of the vendors he works with at the Downtown Ferndale club and see if they wanted to chip in to buy some pens, pencils, notebooks, crayons, etc.
The effort resulted in 11 teachers having their online school supply wishes granted. Most had their full lists completed. The teachers were mainly from Ferndale or teachers in Ferndale Schools.
“I thought we’d buy enough for a couple classrooms,” Noonchester said. “I put it out on Facebook, in the Fabulous Ferndale Forum, asking for teachers in need. There were so many within a few minutes I had to shut the comments off and start getting some sponsorships.”
“I spent the night reaching out to our liquor reps and they helped us raise funds. We would like to thank Bill Deck and William Cartwright of Moet Hennessy USA & Belvedere, Donovan of Coastal Pacific, Ashley Haffner of Great Lakes, Sam of Titos Vodka and Ryan Kydd of Jameson & Absolut.
Kandis Pagonas teaches English for several grades at Ferndale High School. “I was gifted basics like pencils and scissors from my list, but I was also given deodorant and hygiene products for my ‘Care Closet,” she said. “I also received a few things to make my classroom more inviting for all learners including lamps and alternative seating. These donations help my students feel prepared, loved, and comfortable in their learning environment. We cannot expect students to focus on academics if other basic needs are not met.”
Noonchester is spreading the word about the experiment in hopes of continuing it and possibly growing it next year. “We have a good community here,” he said. “I hope we can keep doing this.”
The Bosco Lounge is also the sponsor of the Oakland County Time’s “Get Involved Guide,” which showcases local organizations. Check that out here.