Ashley Wilkins thought maybe she'd get one of her requested tablets for her classroom.
But within two weeks, Wilkins scored five Kindle Fires, thanks to local businesses, a friend and her husband.
"Five is ideal," said the Marsh Elementary teacher. "However, I thought that goal was way out of my reach."
Her Antioch first-graders will now benefit from the big give.
The handful of tablets can manage "an entire learning center for one full school year," Wilkins said. "Plus, they can be used year after year for hundreds of my students."
Within a week of sending her request letters, she heard from Beswick Insurance of Antioch "thanking me for my dedication to students and that they wanted to help."
Next, Antioch Coin & Jewelry gave a donation. "I was beyond excited and a little shocked that my letters were actually working."
Other big givers included Mercantile Systems Inc., husband Blair Wilkins (an Antioch High teacher) and friend Matt Reid.
Then, Brentwood's Keller Williams real estate held a bake auction and donated the proceeds.
Now, Wilkins is set to buy the Kindles, along with the protection plans, protective screens and case covers.
In addition, she'll also get headphones and bean bag chairs for the students to "kick back, relax and enjoy a good book or a meaningful learning app."
"I really felt the love from the community," Wilkins said. "I can't believe the amount of support that was given to my classroom."
Wilkins said these new tools will help "reinforce reading and math skills. And, I will download some fun games they can play to help with fine motor skills."
The Antioch teacher's next goal is to build up her classroom library and listening center.
Wilkins is obviously thrilled her students will benefit from these generous contributions, and hopes others will keep schools in mind. "If (anyone) wants to donate to a good cause, schools -- or even a specific classroom -- can always use the money."
DANCE FEVER: Deer Valley high's winter dance concert is at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday in the Antioch school's theater at 4700 Lone Tree Way.
Dance team adviser Sharlene Sabonis said the event is a fundraiser for the dance program and dance team. In addition to the students, several area dance studios have been invited to join the performance. Tickets are $7 before Dec. 7; $10 at the door; free for children younger than 3. For more information, call 925-706-5555.
LAST CALL?: The song "It's the End of the World" may be wrong.
At least, that's what Deer Valley teacher Jeff Adkins will show with his tongue-in-cheek event entitled: "The Nopacalypse (or, why the world won't end on Dec. 21.)"
The program is set from 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 20.
"There are a lot of my students who have questions about whether or not the emails and Facebook posts they see on this topic mean anything," Adkins said.
Adkins is happy his ACE Research Academy is doing this fun event.
They plan to share their info about "exactly what the Mayans predicted" for this infamous date.
The event includes Adkins (a NASA Astrophysics Education ambassador), Raymond Kuntz (former Chevron geologist), invited speakers, and DVHS ACE Research Academy students. Dr. Bryan Mendez from the Berkeley Space Sciences lab will also participate.
The group plans to use the school planetarium to show the alignment of the planets, share resources from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, lead demonstrations and presentations, and show posters explaining the event. And, if the sky is clear that day, "We will host an observing session in the athletic field afterward," Adkins said.
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