MINGO JUNCTION — Representatives of McDonald’s surprised one Indian Creek Middle School teacher with a $500 Make Activities Count Grant for Teachers award which will highlight students who show positive character traits.
Shawna Grimm, McDonald’s director of operations, and Josh Barnett, chief strategy officer, representing franchisee Tomtreyco Inc., of Uniontown, Ohio, presented a check to fifth-grade English teacher Jane Bennett, who plans to use the allocation for a character-building program and reward pupils who are recognized as ICMS Student of the Month.
“I’m excited and surprised,” Bennett said, noting that it was her third such award.
Bennett used her previous allocations to acquire and distribute school supplies for low-income students and create a “Sunshine Cart” to provide pick-me-ups for teachers through one of her student organizations. The latest allotment will promote positive character skills among the student population.
“We do a lot working with kids,” she said. “We have a student of the week and pick a character trait, and then a teacher nominates a student (based on that trait.) We then have a drawing for student of the month and they get a $10 gift card. Now I can probably do more (with the MAC Grant.)”
Grimm said it marked the 27th year for the MAC Grant for Teachers program and is part of McDonald’s long-standing commitment to education.
“Because we at McDonald’s recognize that lessons become more meaningful when demonstrated with hands-on experiences, we are financially supporting activities that supplement regular classroom curriculum,” she continued. “The MAC Grants program provides cash awards to help local teachers make activities count in their classrooms.”
The program is open to teachers of grades five through eight who want to enhance their students’ learning process through interesting, hands-on projects. Recipients are selected by a panel of judges based on the creativity and educational value of their projects and each educator was praised for their outstanding work with teaching and motivating young people.
Barnett also lauded Indian Creek Schools, saying the business employs many of its students and they have demonstrated those great traits on the job.
“We appreciate working with youth and some of our best managers come from here. It’s a testament to their upbringing,” he said.
Principal Holly Minch-Hick said a student of the week is selected each Friday and their photo is hung in the school hallway and posted on the ICMS Facebook page, then one of the candidates will gain the student of the month distinction. She noted that the school prides itself on promoting positivity through Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and PAX trainings so students build upon those skills.
“PBIS is a big part of what we do,” she commented. “We teach them respect of teachers, others and themselves.”
Tomtreyco, Inc. operates 54 McDonald’s establishments across Northeast Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.