skip to main content
article photo

SONIC Drive-In

SONIC Limeades for Learning Teacher of the Month: Creating a Learning Village in Communities

Reporters are welcome to use Inspire Stories material. If you have any questions, please contact us at

The past year has consisted of many different challenges, especially for teachers who are navigating constant uncertainties. As a new school year begins, Teacher of the Month Steven Deaver reflects on the role that the community plays in encouraging educators and shares his perspective on how teachers can best prepare for the road ahead.

  • Location: Newark, NJ
  • Subject: Social Studies
  • Grade Levels: 9 -12
  • Years Teaching: 23

  1. How did your classroom needs change this school year? What types of learning supplies or resources did you need most?

My classroom needs have changed tremendously due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students did not return for in-person learning when schools reopened. This is a result of fear, distress, anxiety and caution. Therefore, besides project funding for technology resources, addressing my student’s socio-emotional and digital divide needs was most critical for me.

  1. How can community members and programs like Limeades for Learning best support teachers now, and why is it important to you?

Education is a community and civic effort! In order for students to learn and develop, the beloved community must come together to make creative and necessary programs like Limeades for Learning successful. We are a learning village! Everyone has a part to play. Teachers cannot do their job without the encouragement and support of the community.

  1. What advice do you have for fellow educators during this time?

I would encourage my fellow educators to first self-care. Then, share care to every one of your students.

  1. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I feel and receive the greatest rewards from teaching when I can see the sparkle and enthusiasm in my students’ eyes and hear the joy of learning in their voices. There is no greater sound than to hear children enjoying life. 

  1. What is your favorite project that has received funding from SONIC Drive-In, and why?

SONIC Drive-In funded one of my first technology projects. It is my favorite because it was my first and first timers are always remembered.

  1. What tips do you have for fellow educators who want to get started with DonorsChoose and Limeades for Learning?

Just dream your best dream for your students in terms of providing them with the resources and experiences necessary for them to learn and grow.

  1. How can parents or SONIC fans become more involved in helping public school teachers?

Besides donating their change to educators’ projects, they can simply not forget to say, “Thank you for being a teacher.”