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Kitsap Mall reaching out to teachers with Supply Closet

Teachers in the Central Kitsap School District are about to get a community-wide helping hand to fill their supply closets.

The Kitsap Mall is joining the nationwide program Teachers Supply Closet, a three-tiered program designed to keep teachers’ classroom expenses to a minimum, said Stacey Ames, Kitsap Mall spokesperson. The program is sponsored through the Macerich Co., which owns the Kitsap Mall.

The first phase of the program begins in May, Ames said. In this phase, shoppers at the Kitsap Mall can purchase $25 gift cards to donate to CKSD teachers. The gift cards can be used at any of the 60 Macerich Co.-owned shopping centers. The cards will be mailed to the teacher designated by the person who buys the card and can be used to purchase classroom supplies. The cards will be on sale for a year.

The second phase of the Teachers Supply Closet is a one-month teacher recognition program, also to run in May.

CKSD employees will receive educator discount cards that can be used at the Kitsap Mall. This coincides with National Teacher Appreciation Week, but Ames said the gift cards aren’t limited to teachers.

The third phase of the program, the holiday sales initiative, is a two-week promotion in December. For this event, there will be a “Friends and Family” event in which teachers, parents and students will sell tickets. The tickets can be used to get discounts from participating stores and the proceeds from the ticket sales will raise money to buy school supplies.

“We love Teachers Supply Closet,” Ames said. “I think the whole program is comprehensive and its going to reach the teachers, parents, students and the community. It’s far-reaching.”

The strength of the program is that it offers many chances for the community to lend educators a fiscal boost.

“There’s a lot of great elements to it,” Ames said. “It’s not just one event. It’s going to be an ongoing network of programs.”

Ames also said she likes the program because she is a strong proponent of education.

“I just have a passion for education,” she said.

Ames’ passion extends into her volunteer work. She is on the CKSD Linder Foundation Board, which gives grants for innovative ideas in the classroom; she is on the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors and sits on the chamber’s education committee and she is on the Career Technical Advisory Council.

Packets of information about the Teachers Supply Closet have been distributed to CKSD employees.

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