At a recent school-wide assembly, Subaru representatives presented the teachers at Forest Hill Elementary with a $5,500 gift card to AdoptAClassroom.org. The funds were to be split equally among the classroom teachers so they could purchase the supplies and materials their students need to learn and succeed.
“Teachers know what’s best, and what they need in their classrooms to take students to the next level,” said Forest Hill Principal, Fatihah Abdur-Rahman. “The flexibility of this funding allows the teachers to choose what they want to purchase. In the end, our kids win when we give our teachers the flexibility to create a situation where students are the priority.”
Forest Hill is a high-needs school located near Subaru’s U.S. headquarters in Camden, NJ. Subaru wanted to adopt the teachers at Forest Hill to make a positive difference in their business community, and in the lives of the children and their families who live and work in the community.
Abdur-Rahman feels optimistic about what kids can do if given the opportunity. “We were not given an easy hand. Forest Hill is in a low-income area with a high amount of trauma,” said Abdur-Rahman. “All the data historically points to students struggling. This donation gives us opportunities that we would not have had. It’s helping us even the playing field.”
In addition to the monetary contribution, and in honor of Black History Month, Subaru surprised the school’s more than 300 students with books that feature African American stories and the heroes who helped shape our country. Each student was able to go home with their very own new book.
“Student engagement is critical,” said Abdur-Rahman. “Subaru’s support has brought a level of excitement that creates authentic joy throughout the school. Students have something to look forward to. I’m excited to see what this act of generosity is going to do to the larger mission and focus of our school.”
Abdur-Rahman wants everyone to know how important it is to pay it forward, like Subaru did, because it shows kids the power of giving back to their community. She believes, “When companies like Subaru invest in our students at the elementary level, the students are going to remember that. They’re going to remember Subaru as a leader and they’re going to want to give back too, to ensure other students have the opportunity they were given.”
This school-wide classroom adoption was made possible with a generous gift from Carmichael Lynch, in celebration of their 11 year relationship as Subaru of America’s agency of record.
To learn more about how classroom adoptions have the power to transform schools, and how businesses, large and small, can get involved to make a big impact in their communities, read STEP Academy’s story.