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How a local nonprofit is honoring teachers and supporting a small business

Posted at 5:09 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 17:26:15-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Walking the halls of her former elementary school, and now teaching in a classroom of her own there, second year teacher Jamie Cates says she’s living her dream.

That dream is leading the next generation of learners at William Fox Elementary, working side by side with some of the teachers who once taught her.

During this pandemic, her ultimate goal is to keep her third graders on track. So far, they haven’t missed beat.

“We have weekly zoom meetings, lunch bunches. They are just as connected as we’ve always been,” said Cates. “We basically just took our entire classroom and put it on line. We still do read alouds and morning meetings.”

Cates is just one shining example of why a local nonprofit is honoring teachers this week.

Richmond mom Timika Vincent, who runs Wealth Building Solutions, is also the president of the PTA at John B. Cary Elementary.

When COVID-19 squashed their week of teacher appreciation festivities by canceling school, she kept looking for a way to give back. She then partnered with local business Urban Hang Suite to show love to teachers.

Vincent and restaurant owner Kelli Lemon had teachers reach out and explain what best describes them as an educator, then they gave out e-gift cards to the Broad Street restaurant.

“It gave me the opportunity to support teachers and give back to a small business owner trying to stay afloat. I want to let you teachers know that you guys rock! And, you’re very special to parents like me,” Vincent said.

It’s an act of kindness and thanks that Cates believes goes a really long way.

“Sometimes teaching can be a thankless job, so it’s really nice when people look at what we do and appreciate us and reward us. Not that we’re looking for that, but it’s really nice to get,” Cates added.

Vincent hopes others will remember the important role teachers play in the lives of students, and will take a moment this week to do something special for them.

Those receiving the e-gift cards for Urban Hang Suite can redeem them all throughout this teacher appreciation week.