www.johnsonpublications.zenfolio.com Brooke Robertson | Johnson Publications

Kelly Smith of Wallace, founder of Apple Wishes for Teachers, displays a sample gift bag and apple container that are presented to teachers to recognize a job well done.

Apple Wishes for Teachers pays it forward with gifts

Now in her 38th year of teaching, Kelly Smith of Wallace, began Apple Wishes for Teachers three years ago to pay it forward. 

She kept thinking of ways to make a difference for her students, when she realized, it’s the teachers who make a difference. And Apple Wishes for Teachers was born. 

The pay-it-forward project surprises teachers with gift bags consisting of personalized gifts, thanking them for a job well done.  

Smith, who teaches fifth grade in Maywood, has now shipped Apple Wishes gift bags to four states and even traveled to Canada, touching several teachers’ lives in the process.  

The project was featured on Lance’s Journal on 1011 NOW last year when Smith was teaching in Lincoln. 

Last summer, she had the opportunity to give a presentation on Apple Wishes for Teachers to the teacher’s organization Alpha Delta Kappa in Winnipeg, Canada. 

In researching teacher burnout, Smith found that teachers are getting burned out in the first 10 years of teaching more often than not. 

She said she doesn’t think most people realize how much time teachers put into their jobs. They put so much into lesson plans, diversified learners, standards and testing, district and state requirements, etc. 

“Teachers have a special tool, like their heart,” she said. 

Smith features photos and videos of Apple Wishes presentations on her Facebook page, Apple Wishes for Teachers. 

She currently funds the project herself, but is looking for sponsors. 

Anyone wishing to surprise a teacher with an Apple Wishes gift bag, or sponsor this project, may get in contact with Smith on the Apple Wishes Facebook page or email her at kelteachne35@gmail.com.

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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