Skip to main content

TIAA Bank Delivers Joy and Supplies to TFA Teachers and Students

The company organized a virtual school supply drive, delivering thousands of pencils, notebooks, and more, along with handwritten letters of appreciation. 

Alumni and Board Member Serina Hedrick with first year teacher Calethia Murray nd TFA staff member Heather Ryan

By Amanda Cagan

October 2, 2020

Teach For America Jacksonville provides not only development and training for teachers working in some of our highest need schools, but also strives to provide teachers, and the students and families we serve, with an additional layer of valuable resources and support. That’s why a new—and growing—partnership with TIAA Bank has been so valuable.

This summer, as community leaders grappled with how to effectively execute a new school year in a radically different landscape, it became clear that one of the biggest challenges facing schools and families was securing enough supplies to support a new model of education. In response to this need, TIAA Bank launched a virtual school supply drive across their national network of offices and Teach For America Jacksonville was selected as one of the recipients.

The Impact Was Massive. Literally.

Just prior to the start of Duval County’s 2020-2021 school year, nearly 3,500 school supplies donated by TIAA employees were handed out to first and second year TFA teachers. These supplies—which totaled over 600 pounds!—included items such as pencils, scissors, glue, notebooks, and more. The supplies were, in turn, provided to the thousands of students Teach For America serves across Jacksonville, ensuring they had the resources needed to learn and thrive at school, regardless of where the classroom is located.

Teachers like Kissiah Valle, a sixth grade reading teacher at Matthew Gilbert Middle School, were thrilled with the generosity. “These acts definitely do not go unnoticed,” Kissiah says. “My students have been loving the notebooks and write in them every day! Thank you so much for providing for our classrooms.”

There Were Inspiring Letters, Too

In addition to the donation of supplies, TFA teachers also received over 55 handwritten letters of appreciation and encouragement from TIAA Bank associates, welcoming them to the city of Jacksonville.

These letters provided hope, inspiration, and gratitude for the incredible work they are undertaking, serving on the front lines of educational equity despite the unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These acts definitely do not go unnoticed, my students have been loving the notebooks and write in them every day! Thank you so much for providing for our classrooms.”

Kissiah Valle

Jacksonville Corps Member 2020

“Like many others we’ve had to re-think how to safely connect with students and teachers in the middle of the pandemic,” Joseph Hernandez, TIAA Bank senior vice president and CRA officer says. “As part of our commitment to the Community Reinvestment Act, we work with organizations like Teach For America to build strong financial foundations for our communities—and we’re just getting started.”

With the new school year underway, the TFA Jacksonville network is working collectively with the larger education and business community in Jacksonville to ensure all students have the opportunity to receive an excellent education. We are grateful and proud to partner with TIAA Bank and look forward to more joint collaborations in the future.

“It was truly inspiring to witness the excitement of the corps members before their first day of school as they picked up their school supplies,” Serina Hendrick, TIAA Bank associate and TFA Jacksonville board member says. “Despite the challenges of the upcoming school year, they were clearly energized and ready to get in the classroom!”