BELLE GLADE — Age-appropriate music and the vibrant sound of cheers and high-fives from Office Depot ambassadors filled the cafeteria of Belle Glade Elementary School on Tuesday, Aug. 14. Students and teachers were recognized by Boca Raton-based company Office Depot under its Start Proud! initiative, which donates school supplies to selected schools throughout the nation.
The Start Proud! Assembly was staged at Belle Glade Elementary to give back to the community by donating new backpacks filled with essentials to help students start the school year off confident, prepared and proud. The students also went home with $20 Office Depot gift cards to assist their parents and guardians with other school supply-related financial expenses.
“Today is so exciting because our school was selected as one of the 10 Start Proud! schools across the nation,” Principal Robera Walker said excitedly to students.
Ms. Walker served as the mistress of ceremonies for the program and she kept the crowd lively, introduced dignitaries and unveiled over six pallets of school supplies for teachers and their classrooms. Office Depot donated more than 1,000 backpacks to the school and 800 additional bags to the Educational Foundation of Palm Beach County for students in other municipalities.
Ariana Murphy received special recognition as the Office Depot All-Star teacher. This recognition awarded incentives and supplies for Ms. Murphy and her classroom.
The students were excited to have the support of district officials, faculty and staff, along with the Office Depot ambassadors. After several motivating speeches and announcements, the students begin receiving their backpacks.
Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy delivered a motivating and encouraging oration to the students. He reminded each young scholar to read daily for 10 minutes or more. He encouraged the young men to always have a firm handshake and look at a person in the eyes when shaking hands and conversing.
Dr. Fennoy also encouraged the young ladies to ensure that they are always treated with respect. Also during his speech, he had each grade level stand up and yell, “Thank you, Office Depot1” to showcase their gratefulness.
“One of the things I realized is that, by the way you all came in this room, it shows that you were taught well by your teachers,” Superintendent Fennoy said. “You all deserve this opportunity, so be thankful,” he added.