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SONIC Limeades for Learning March Teacher of the Month: How a Rock Garden Impacted a School Community

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SONIC’s March Teacher of the Month is Aimee-Lyn Vincich who teaches First Grade at William Snyder Elementary School in Las Vegas, NV.

Below, Ms. Vincich describes the importance of donations and how a unique project was able to make an impact not only on her classroom but the entire school community.

Who inspired you to become a teacher?

My mom was a teacher, and I wanted to be just like her. I was diagnosed with a learning disability in junior high which just increased my passion to help kids learn and grow.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part is helping students exceed all expectations.

What are some of your go-to ways to encourage students in the classroom?

Snacks and juice drinks are the big motivators for my students. If they get to eat, then they will learn. Time with the teacher is also always a big hit!

What is your favorite project that has received funding from SONIC Drive-In?

It’s hard to pinpoint one project because they have all blessed me and my school, but the one that stands out is a project funded in October for a rock garden.

Our school is over 20 years old, and the landscape needs improvement. The rocks will be used in a special space designed to honor a student who died in a car accident a few years ago. Her mom actually teaches at our school, so this is a gift that really gives, honors, and celebrates. The rocks benefit not only my students but the whole school community.

How can community members and brands best support teachers, and why is it important to you?

The best way to support teachers and schools is to donate. We are underfunded — things need to be replaced and buildings need to be revitalized. If you can, adopt a school and give back to their community.

What are some of the notable classroom needs you and your fellow teachers have right now where funding and support could help?

Thanks to SONIC Drive-In and DonorsChoose, many needs have been met. Currently, we need books, technology, and furniture. We are a flexible seating school, and while we work hard to create motivating and organized classroom environments, technology wears out and needs to be replaced.

I also have a request for paint smocks because the kids are painting and it gets on their clothes.

What tips do you have for fellow educators who want to upload a project on DonorsChoose for the first time?

My advice is to do it! DonorsChoose has made it so easy to write a request. Just follow the steps and ask people about it. Keep your projects clear, simple, and under 400 dollars. If it’s a big project, break it up into smaller projects. Above all else, be patient and prepared to be blessed!

Someone near you probably knows about or has a project on DonorsChoose! It’s just that great!

Are you a teacher interested in securing funding through DonorsChoose? Visit their website today.

This story is part of an ongoing series.