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Littleton gets grant from clothing store

By Staff | Apr 11, 2018

All too often, teachers who don’t make much money to begin with are forced to spend their own money on materials for their students.

Last week, Burlington, a clothing store chain with a new location set to open in Cape Coral, made it a whole lot easier for teachers at Dr. Carrie D. Robinson Littleton Elementary School to get what their students need to succeed.

On Tuesday, teachers were surprised with a $10,000 grant from the company, which they will be able to use through AdoptAClassroom.org to buy classroom supplies.

Jim Staszewski, store manager of the new location, said every time they open a new store, they go into the community and make donations to worthy causes, such as giving merchandise to area thrift stores.

“We’re great about doing community things. Teachers are tireless people who don’t get paid what they should and spend their own money for supplies because there isn’t enough funding,” Staszewski said. “This is our way of giving back and going ahead to help them what they need.”

Students and teachers were brought into the library after school, where Littleton Elementary principal Monica Broughton delivered the news to the surprised teachers.

Teacher Lisa Peters was emotional about the gift, which went to a school where they families are generally low income. She was almost in tears as she saw the huge check.

“It’s overwhelming. Any resources we can get means so much to the teachers. We spend a lot of our own money to supply the classrooms, so this is awesome,” Peters said. “We’ll buy books and materials to help with curriculum. Anything to help them be better students. It’s a blessing”

For Broughton, the toughest part was keeping it a secret, as she knew about the grant for nearly a month.

“I’m so excited for my teachers. They’ll be able to use the money for classroom supplies. They buy supplies all year round, so this is a great opportunity for them,” Broughton said. “When you’re a teacher in that classroom, you know what those students need, so instead of waiting for funding, they go into their own pockets.”

The teachers, who will get about $325 apiece, will have one year after the donation to spend the money through any of the 30 vendors associated with AdoptAClassroom.org.

“You would be amazed by what teachers can get on a small amount of money. They are great shoppers and know how to manage every penny,” Broughton said. “I was speechless when I learned about this. The teachers deserve this.”

Burlington makes a donation to a local school in each grand opening market to celebrate the new store location. The new Burlington Store at 1810 N.E. Pine Island Road in Cape Coral is scheduled to open Friday.