(Seguin) -- Thanks to Seguin Walmart, 20 teachers at Patlan Elementary no longer have to dig into their own pockets to help fund the supplies needed for their classrooms. The names of the teachers were drawn in front of their students during a special school assembly recognizing the Walmart Teacher Rewards Program.
During the ceremony, Walmart Manager Dale Koehler explained to the students how much their teachers do for them and how the store wanted to thank them.
"At Walmart, we believe in giving back to the local community. We give hundreds of millions of dollars back throughout the United States. This year, we're going to give $5 million back to 100,000 teachers across the United States and here locally, Patlan Elementary was chosen for 20 teachers who are going to get $50 gift cards," said Koehler.
Koehler says more than 5,000 U.S. Walmart stores, Distribution Centers and Sam's Club locations are eligible to select one local public school, grades K-8 and provide reward cards to 20 teachers from each selected school.
"We recognize that our teachers spend money out of their own pockets every year and so we want to help them with that burden. So throughout the year, we help different teachers at different schools all year long, but this is our one time to formally recognize and give $50 back to 20 of our teachers -- $1,000 to one school and we do it across the whole United States, but just to help take the burden off from spending money out of their own pocket for taking care of our children," said Koehler.
Appreciative for the gifts is School Principal Veronica Ramirez. Ramirez says these cards not only provide a little monetary relief for her teachers but it also shows others what they do from their hearts.
"It means the world. Our teachers take out of their own pockets to provide our students with supplies and extra things for in the classroom. They don't have to but they do that out of the good of their heart because some of our kids just don't have the supplies. The Stuff the Bus is a great program and it provides stuff but towards the middle of the end of the school year, our students are lacking supplies and things for the classroom and so our teachers take from their own families, dig through their pockets. With these gift cards, it's going to be amazing because it provides them an opportunity to do that without using their own funds," said Ramirez.
It is estimated that on average, teachers spend $1,000 of their own money to ensure the supplies needed throughout a school year.
The Teacher Rewards program is an extension of Walmart's ongoing support of local education initiatives that help students better prepare for the future.