The sounds of cheers flooded the hallways of Crescent Elementary on Wednesday, March 14 and that was before the guests of honor even entered the room. “Now I’m starting to get nervous,” Burlington Stores manager Cedric Reeves said with a smile as he cracked open the wooden door to the multi-purpose room and greeted every student and teacher in the school.
The teachers and students had been summoned there under a ruse tricked by Principal Camie Montague to attend a schoolwide behavior assembly but really, they were about to get a huge surprise. “You guys are never going to believe this,” Montague told the crowd. “We pulled a prank on the teachers.” Reeves and coworker Elizabeth Mathieu, who oversees loss prevention at the store, presented a massive $10,000 check to the school. The money, which was donated to Crescent Elementary from Burlington Stores, in partnership with AdoptaClassroom.org, will be divided among all of the school’s teachers and used for school purchases.
“I know this school, I know the situation they are in,” said Reeves, who is manager of a Burlington store that will be opening on March 21 on 10453 S. State Street. The company regularly selects a school located near their stores to receive donations through funding. Reeves suggested the company donate to Crescent Elementary, where his wife is a first-grade teacher.
“I know the impact this will have on the teachers,” Reeves said. “We are part of the community and we are here to serve you however we can.”
The teachers’ jaws dropped when they saw the size of the check and the students roared even louder. The school will have one year to use the funds but Montague is sure Crescent’s 32 teachers won’t have a problem finding a use for the money. The teachers are able to spend the money at more than 30 vendors partnered with Burlington Stores and Adopt a Classroom, including Office Depot, Best Buy and Scholastic. The school can make purchases on “everything from technology to field trip expenses,” according to a statement from Burlington Stores.
“I can’t even believe it,” Montague said. “This is just one more thing to help our kids be successful in the classroom. I’m super excited. I can’t even believe it.”