Local partnership shows appreciation for Tri-state teachers
QUINCY (WGEM) - The Regional Office of Education #1 and The District partnered together on Saturday to provide Tri-State school faculty with discounts before the start of school on Monday. They also held raffles and free activities around Washington Park.
“Our department is all about wellness for children and wellness for adults,” said ROE 1 Social Emotional Coordinator Leslie Vigor. “We know it’s been a hard couple of years with COVID.
From COVID-19 to now inflation, The District Economic Development Director Emily Lombardi said the goal for this first-ever partnership with ROE 1 was to help both schools and the local economy during these trying times.
“Investing in our community, in our properties,” Lombardi said. “In our entrepreneurs is just really going to benefit everyone at the end of the day.”
The Welcome Back to School Appreciation event was a special edition of the tri-annual Shop Local Saturday aimed to stimulate the local economy in downtown Quincy.
Paraeducator for special education students, Jan Green, is getting ready to teach at Quincy Junior High School come Monday. She said she needed new clothes and knew this would be going on. Green said taking advantage of the 10% discount and the sales tax breaks helped her financially.
“We’re just walking around and sight seeing and we may even purchase something today,” Green said. “I love discounts. I shop around and try to get a bargain.”
The discounts were also inclusive to college and university faculty. Culver-Stockton College Professor Richard Vogel stumbled upon the Shop Local event with his wife. He said he was thankful for the unexpected discounts, but said K-12 teachers need these incentives the most.
“(K-12) Teachers are not paid enough,” Vogel said. “We need to give incentives for people who want to go into teaching instead of having to think about leaving the profession that many of them love very much.”
Love It or Leave It’s co-owner Tonya Wiseman said she used to sub in for the local schools and knows firsthand how difficult it is for school faculty. So, she participated in the discount offer to help them out of that financial pinch.
“You gain great respect for those in the education department,” Wiseman said. “And you do want to honor them and bless them.”
Lombardi and Vigor said Saturday’s turnout exceeded expectations and will consider hosting another Welcome Back to School Appreciation Shop Local Saturday next year.
Vigor said ROE 1 is planning to bring a similar event to Pittsfield.
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