You could almost hear the school bells ringing at Baystate Medical Center, where employees gathered to present Springfield Public School principals with more than 130 large plastic storage bins of school supplies, the culmination of the hospital’s annual “Adopt a Classroom” initiative.
Meeting the need
The colored markers, folders, spiral notebooks, glue sticks, Post-it Notes, disinfectant wipes, and crayons donated will benefit children attending Springfield schools such as the Brightwood, Margaret C. Ells, and Milton Bradley schools, as well as Lincoln Elementary, adjacent to the hospital on Chestnut Street, and the German Gerena Community School on Birnie Avenue.
"A thank-you is not enough. You don’t know how much you mean to us," Sharon Ralls, principal at Lincoln Elementary School, told employees attending the event.
"It’s Christmas in July for our teachers, who will be able to share these many school items with children whose parents don’t have the money to send them to school with the supplies needed for classroom work. It’s remarkable what Baystate does for our school," said John Doty, principal at Brightwood Elementary School, while noting several ways the hospital partners with the school and the Brightwood community.
Investing in future generations
Several Springfield schools have established special relationships with Baystate Medical Center, with students participating in special learning activities at the teaching hospital, and Baystate employees donating time and materials to the students to support their learning and growth.
"Education and the commitment of dedicated teachers in the classroom is key to the economic recovery of Springfield. I want to thank all those Baystate employees and departments who filled their plastic bins to the very top. Your generosity will make a difference in the lives of these schoolchildren, some of whom we hope will enter the field of health care and work right here at Baystate in the future," said Dr. Mark A. Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health.