“Over 95 percent of the 1,800 teachers in the Sioux Falls School District use their own funds out of their own pocket, which amounts to about 500 dollars annually to support supplies for their classroom,” Sioux Falls School Board Member Nan Baker said.
Inspired by the Sioux Falls, S.D., teacher’s drive to pay for their own supplies, Graham Automotive decided to take the wheel and help them out.
“It’s exciting. Education is important for everybody — having children of my own and going through school myself — and just seeing the benefits of a good education system in our community,” Joe Stifter, with Graham Automotive, said.
Anyone 18 years or older can stop by the dealership any time from now until the end of the year and take a test drive, and then designate a $20 gift card to any teacher in the district.
“Simply come in here, ask one of the members of the staff to take a test drive for the funding classrooms program, and take a test drive – and then also give us the name of the teacher and the school they’re working in,” Stifter said.
And the passion for this new fundraiser goes deeper than what is under the hood.
“Teachers inspire the engineers who are putting these cars together, who are dreaming them, and – just in terms of the dealership – so many of the employees here have kids in the school system, they know teachers, and, of course, the customers have ties to the school system too,” Allison Struck with the education foundation, said.
“The value of public education directly supports those children that will, at some point, go out into the world to do great things,” Baker said.