2015 School Supplies for Fountain Elementary

2015 School Supplies for Fountain Elementary

Our 2015 Back To School initiative was very successful.  Our essay winner this year was Tina Lupo, first grade teacher at Fountain Elementary in Roseville, Michigan.  According to recent reports, teachers spend between $500 – $1,000 per year out of their own pockets on school supplies due to cuts in education and financial issues. The Back to School Campaign will help ease the burden from these budget shortfalls as well as the student’s families.

This morning, 60 first graders were greeted with hot breakfast and school supplies from Agents of Hope. National Coney Island, Groesbeck Nighway in Roseville, Michigan did a fantastic job preparing and packaging breakfast for the first graders.


Special thanks to our sponsor, Secure-24, a great company headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, specializing in managed cloud services, application hosting and application performance management.  Secure-24 has supported Agents of Hope on several initiatives and community events. We are very thankful.


National Coney Island

Also, many thanks to the staff and management of National Coney Island located on Groesbeck Highway in Roseville, Michigan for a wonderful job with the fantastic breakfast. The children were very happy!  National Coney Island currently owns and operates 20 restaurants in Southeastern Michigan and has been in business since 1965. The corporate headquarters are located in Roseville, Michigan, home of the original location!

Agents of Hope looks forward to more opportunities to help schools deliver great education to students everywhere.  Congratulations to Fountain Elementary in Roseville, Michigan!

And They Say Teaching Is A Dying Field – Tina Lupo

And They Say Teaching Is A Dying Field – Tina Lupo

My passion for teaching was ignited in me almost 20 years while in my high school child care class. This is where my love of learning and my love for helping children grow and develop began. It’s satisfying to know you are not only motivating students to learn, but teaching them how to learn, and doing so in a manner that is relevant, meaningful, and memorable. It’s about caring for your craft, having a passion for it, and conveying that passion to everyone, most importantly to your students. I love caring, nurturing, and developing minds and talents. It’s about devoting time, often invisible, to every student. It’s also about the thankless hours of grading, designing or redesigning daily lessons, and preparing materials to further enhance instruction. I believe in each and every student and know I can be a positive role model for them. I know I can be that spark that ignites their love of learning. I know I can change their life!

Now 20 years later, I have seen things in education change tremendously. Children come to school with a lot of baggage. They are dealing with things someone their age should not be expected to handle. Our students are struggling against poverty, prejudice, substance abuse, hunger, abuse, and apathy on a daily basis. I go the extra mile because children need to feel safe and loved in order to learn and be successful. “Every child is one caring adult from being a success story” (Josh Shipp). Because many students come from families who don’t care—or don’t know how to show they do, I become the one consistent thing in most of their lives. I welcome them into my classroom with a warm smile and open arms. They might not be able to feel safe or loved at home, but I make it my mission to make them feel that way when they step into my classroom. I can offer them hope and love. I can make a difference in their lives.

Every day I tell myself to treat these children how I would want my children to be treated by their teachers. That is why I often call my students, “my kids”. Why I feel obligated to take care of them and ensure their basic needs are met. Why I give them baby wipe baths when they come to school dirty. Why I buy them supplies, winter coats, boots, hats, gloves, clothing, etc. Why I send them home with extra food so I know they eat that night. Why I lay awake at night worrying about them and if they will somehow make it to school the next day. They are someone’s whole world and I care for them as if they were my own. Every September I go from having two children to twenty something children.

Teaching is one of the most difficult, challenging, frustrating, emotionally exhausting, mentally draining, satisfying, wonderful, important and precious jobs in the world. I’m grateful that I get to do it every day. To offer hope, to make a difference, and to change lives!

Tina Lupo is our 2015 Back To School Essay Winner. She is a 1st grade teacher at Fountain Elementary, Roseville, MI

Lisa DeFelice: 2014 Back-To-School Essay Finalist

Lisa DeFelice: 2014 Back-To-School Essay Finalist

Agents of Hope is pleased to announce the winner of our 2014 Back-To-School campaign, Mrs. Lisa DeFelice. According to recent reports, teachers spend between $500 – $1,000 per year out of their own pockets on school supplies due to cuts in education and financial issues. The Back to School Campaign will help ease the burden from these budget shortfalls as well as the student’s families.

Here is an essay letter from our 2014 Hero Teacher winner, Mrs. Lisa DeFelice:

As long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a teacher. I have always found a profound joy in helping children and connecting with them on a daily basis. I have come to realize in my 12 years of teaching 5th students ‘respect and let them know that you care about them as individuals.

My driving force as an educator is the students. They are my motivation to become a better teacher every day. It is their eagerness to learn and their excitement to share their experiences with me that makes me want to provide the best education that I can give to them.

I began my journey as an Elementary Educator at Eastern Michigan University. After I graduated with my Bachelors in Science degree in 2002, I was offered a 5th Community Schools, where I have been employed for the past 12 years. Also during this time I returned to school and earned a Masters in the Arts of Elementary Teaching from Saginaw Valley State University in 2006. In addition to continuously furthering my education through professional development, I have always been very involved with extracurricular activities that are offered at the schools I work at.

Throughout my 12 years of teaching I have noticed a decline in students being prepared with the necessary supplies needed to be successful in school. This is not due to the fact that the students do not want to be prepared, but rather their families do not have the means to prepare them with the tools grade that being a teacher is more than what is in textbooks; it is being able to earn the they need. Every year I spend on average $400-$500 on a variety of supplies for the classroom, this would include pencils, notebooks, pens, pencil sharpeners, rulers, crayons, colored pencils, as well as supplies that are needed throughout the year for different activities to enhance student learning.

I am very dedicated to my work and believe that each child deserves an equal opportunity to learn and having the proper tools supports their success. Thank you for your time and understanding,

Mrs. Lisa DeFelice, John R. Kment Elementary School, Roseville Community Schools.