Featured Donor Story: Deb Wycislak Gives More Than Funds

AdoptAClassroom.org donor Deb Wycislak understands the struggle many teachers face in supplying their classrooms. Since 2014, Deb has been doing her part by funding classrooms in Forest Lake, Minnesota.

“I wanted to donate locally to a school that was important to me,” said Deb. “So, I went through AdoptAClassroom.org because they are good at connecting to local community schools.”

Deb regularly adopts North Lakes Academy Charter School teacher Emily Thompson and Forest View Elementary School teacher Rachel Lexvold’s classrooms. She not only provides financial support, but Deb also helps out as a classroom volunteer for Rachel’s second grade students.

“When I come in, they read to me and they also show me their projects and artwork,” said Deb. “I’ll come in and I’ll read to them as a group.”

Deb formed a relationship with Rachel after a thank you email through AdoptAClassroom.org sparked a dialogue between them. Rachel also involved her students in the conversation: they wrote Deb thank you letters for her donation.

“We were going back and forth a little bit and then Rachel invited me to come to the classroom to read, and I just loved that idea,” said Deb. “That worked out really well and we’ve been doing that ever since.”

By volunteering her time to the classroom, Deb brings cheer and stability to Rachel’s students. She particularly remembers one cold winter day last year, when the students brought pillows and blankets to story time. According to Deb, what started as a dreary day, turned into a “cozy, snuggly, fun day together.”

“To have someone come in to help in the classroom who I trust and the school trusts is a big thing. And then, pretty soon when that person comes in, they typically come in again because it was so much fun for the kids,” said Rachel. “It’s good to have the consistency of those volunteers for many kids that don’t have that at home.”

Deb’s financial contribution to Rachel’s classroom, through AdoptAClassroom.org, has also been a huge help, because her students go through supplies quickly. Rachel spends $400 to $500 on her classroom each year, just to supply her students with basic materials like pencils, stickers, and Kleenex. When Rachel’s classroom was adopted for the first time, she felt both thrilled and surprised by the generosity of AdoptAClassroom.org donors.

“It was like Christmas, but it was more exciting because you’re not expecting it,” said Rachel. “When you get those donations, it’s like a surprise and for the first time I was like ‘oh it does work, I’m so excited.’ Then, you were able to go back and tell your kids ‘guess what, we got this money to spend.'”

At the start of a new school year, teachers often spend the most, stocking their classroom using their own money. Donors like Deb help give teachers one less problem to worry about when it’s time for back-to-school spending.

“Last August, I felt I should make a donation because I know the teachers were going to be getting ready for school,” said Deb. “So, I donated to both Rachel and Emily, and they responded immediately. They bought things either that day or the next day, and they were so grateful.”

Deb continues to help support students in her community by volunteering and supplying their classrooms with the materials they need.

“I choose to donate online and also come to classrooms, because I want to be involved locally in the community,” said Deb. “I wanted to let the kids know that there’s people in the community that care about them, and that we think about them, and we know that they are our future.”

Want to help Deb support these teachers? Visit Rachel Lexvold or Emily Thompson’s classroom page to make a donation.

Interested in finding your own nearby classroom to connect with? Use our classroom search tool to find a teacher in your community who needs a hand.