Box of donated goodies a surprise for Ann Arbor Open teacher

All-school assembly also features music of harpist

From AAPSNews Service

Teacher Josh Tumolo thought he was just taking his blended first-second grade class to see harpist Michael O’Shiver.

In a surprise to him, the all-school assembly at Ann Arbor Open @ Mack ended with Tumolo being awarded a box full of goodies for his classroom, a fancy new desk chair and a bulletin board from the Ann Arbor OfficeMax store. The gift box, which included binders, notebooks, markers, a digital camera, label maker and new desk chair, among other items, was worth $1,000.

Ann Arbor Open @ Mack first-grade teacher Josh Tumolo and his students take a look at the goodies he received from OfficeMax.

The package was part of the Office Depot “A Day Made Better” initiative, which donated similar surprise deliveries on Oct. 5 to 1,000 teachers around the country. Winning teachers were nominated for this award by their principals for demonstrating passion, dedication and innovation in the classroom.

“It was a complete surprise – I’m just as surprised as you are,” Tumolo told his group of rather excited students. “I had not even a clue.”

In making the surprise announcement, Ann Arbor Open Principal Naomi Zikmund-Fisher said: “Teachers are the hardest working people on the planet, in my opinion,” she said. “Your teachers work long hours to make sure teachers to make sure everything is great for you and to do that they need a lot of stuff.”

Zikmund-Fisher said she was approached last summer to select a teacher who might need items for his or her classroom and the school selected Tumolo, as he is a first-year teacher at Ann Arbor Open.

Back in the classroom, Tumolo and students dig through the donated supplies.

After digging through the box and sharing with students, Tumolo took them out for recess to burn off all of the excitement.

OfficeMax and the nonprofit Adopt-A-Classroom program took on the task of helping teachers, many who spend their own money on classroom supplies. Since “A Day Made Better” first began in October 2007, OfficeMax has funded more than 3,500 teachers and their classrooms on behalf of the “A Day Made Better” cause and helped attract donations for 10,000 classrooms through Adopt-A-Classroom.

Before the OfficeMax award presentation, harpist O’Shiver performed for 45 minutes for Ann Arbor Open students. He included a number of well-known numbers, as well as one he wrote that was inspired by his time living on St. Thomas when Hurricane Hugo devastated the Caribbean island.

“Music has been one of the magical moments that has allowed me to calm my soul,” the musician told students. O’Shiver is Zikmund-Fisher’s cousin.

Below: a video of harpist Michael O’Shiver’s 40-minute concert for students at Ann Arbor Open @ Mack.

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