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Humble ISD teacher receives huge classroom donation with help from Hollywood actress
Atascocita High School Deaf Education teacher, Ashley Greene-Woods, received a large classroom donation after actress, Kristen Bell, featured her on Instagram. The actress started an instagram campaign to support teachers, as a way to give back to those who are making an impact in students lives. The #10FeaturedTeachers movement was started to crowdfund classroom supplies for teachers. Bell asked her 8 million followers to nominate deserving teachers for the campaign. Nominated by a former colleague, she was shocked to be selected as one of the ten teachers. Bell shared the nomination on her instagram page by posting a photo of Greene-Woods and why she was chosen, along with a link to her teacher wish list of classroom supplies.
At first, Greene-Woods added a few books about deaf characters, several sign language dictionaries, and desk organizers to hold hearing aid batteries and other supplies for her students. The original items were fulfilled quickly and she was encouraged to add more classroom supplies to her list. Greene-Woods reached out to her deaf education colleagues on her campus and across the district to see what supplies they could use in the classroom. Donations poured in from all over the world. People from Tennessee, Ireland, and Humble helped to fulfill her teacher wish list. Almost 400 items were delivered.
Donations included iPads, books, sign language dictionaries, classroom organizers, everyday classroom supplies, and a special doorbell knocker to help her students be more independent and aware of who is in the classroom. Greene-Woods donated some of the supplies she received to four different departments at her campus and two different school districts.
Greene-Woods received several letters from donors explaining how moved they were by her passion for teaching. The notes that touched her the most came from parents of deaf children who wrote to acknowledge how inspired they were after reading her story. Their stories moved her to tears.
“Several of my students were not aware that they could grow up and become teachers and be successful at any career they choose to pursue, before meeting me,” Greene-Woods said. “Now my students' eyes are open and they aspire to be teachers, welders, and architects.”
Greene-Woods is hopeful that the donations she received will help continue empowering her students because she wants each of them to leave high school knowing their self-worth. Throughout the school year, she invites an organization to present self-advocacy tips for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, annually invites representatives from deaf colleges to speak about their programs, and writes her students' positivity notes each week.
“I want to make sure my students have all the tools that they need to reach their goals and graduate knowing that they can do whatever they put their minds to,” Greene-Woods said.
Out of all the items received, she is most excited about the doorbell knocker for her room, the Sphero robotics kits, and the novels that feature deaf characters. Although many of the donors left notes about her being an inspiration, she wants the community to know that “a community that stands behind its teachers is the inspiration and motivation.”