Amazon donated more than $10,000 in school supplies to Claude A. Taylor Elementary in Cayce on Wednesday.
During the summer, Taylor Elementary principal Mary Lance Garrison put together a school supply wish list based on feedback from teachers. Amazon, which has a 1.2-million-square foot fulfillment center a few miles from the school, stepped in to help.
“This was the work of several months of coordination behind the scenes,” Garrison said. “Amazon’s donation came as a complete surprise to the entire school.”
Fifty-two boxes – one for each of the school’s 52 teachers – were filled with everything from art supplies to hand sanitizer. The donations, tied with a giant orange bow, were presented during a school assembly to 450 cheering students from third through fifth grades.
“Amazon is proud to support the communities where our employees live and work,” said George Schultz, general manager of the online retail giant’s West Columbia fulfillment center. “We are excited to help share and celebrate the hard work of our teachers in Columbia who are doing everything they can to create a successful, engaging learning environment for their students.”
Surveys have found that teachers across the country spend an average of $500 of their own money on school supplies each year, with some shelling out thousands. A Huffington Post article asking for teacher feedback on the subject in 2015 received responses from teachers who had spent between $500 and $5,000 to ready their classrooms for the school year.