Three University of Alabama employee organizations honored teachers and staff at Brewer-Porch Children’s Center on Monday with their first ever teacher/staff appreciation day.
Dr. Rona Donahoe, president of UA’s Faculty Senate, said the Faculty Senate, Professional Staff Assembly and the Office, Clerical and Technical Staff Assembly celebrated the Brewer-Porch employees with a luncheon and more than $100 in gifts and classroom supplies given to each of BPCC’s 15 classrooms.
The celebration was part of an initiative the three groups started in May to undertake ongoing joint service projects.
“We discovered that despite the major effort these teachers make on a daily basis, they have never had a teacher appreciation day and the staff also has never had such an event,” Donahoe said. “We felt it was important to recognize their effort, their commitment, their sacrifices.”
Earlier this year, the three employee organizations received an initial, one-time grant of $5,000 from TIAA, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, as part of TIAA’s 100 Days of Difference campaign in celebration of its 100th anniversary. Several TIAA-member colleges and universities were awarded the grants to conduct community service projects.
The Faculty Senate, PSA and OCTSA were awarded an additional $2,500 grant from TIAA to support the teacher celebration event and to build a salsa garden at the Center for the children later in the year.
“What a great need they’re meeting and we’re more than happy to just say thank you.” said James Kelley, senior relationship manager for TIAA.
Amy Montgomery, a special education teacher in the residential program at Brewer-Porch, said the luncheon and classroom gifts really make them feel appreciated.
“Our facility is not on campus, but this is one way that The University of Alabama shows that we are definitely a part of them and we are supported,” Montgomery said.
Lydia Hall-Young, who teaches in the intensive residential treatment program, said the event was exciting.
“So often we as teachers feel that we are unappreciated … but when we get honored or anyone tells us that they appreciate us, it excites us,” she said. “Most of the gifts we received today are manipulative and the kids will use them for hands-on activities.”
Daphne Wright, PSA outreach chair, said the PSA has held service projects for Brewer-Porch since 2006. In December, all three UA employee organizations will provide Christmas gifts for the youth at BPCC.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.