Starting in 2018, Start Proud!™ is going strong as Office Depot’s signature back-to-school philanthropic initiative. This program was created to help foster brighter beginnings for schools in low-income communities nationwide and to give students, parents, and teachers the supplies they need to start the school year confident, prepared, and proud. Start Proud! celebratory assemblies are held at elementary schools across the nation, and include inspiring remarks, the distribution of backpacks and supplies for students, and special recognition and gifts for educators.
This year, Del Mar Elementary School was selected as a Start Proud Campaign recipient. Eighteen schools were chosen from across the country. On the first day of school, Office Depot and the Foundation for Fresno Unified Schools hosted an assembly at Del Mar. The school received 600 backpacks filled with $120 worth of supplies. Each site was given $20,000 in Office Depot merchandise credit.
All Star Teacher Award
In addition, Principals at 18 of the selected Start Proud!® schools recognized one outstanding educator with Office Depot’s “All-Star Teacher” award. The deserving teacher was then surprised with new furniture, teaching supplies, technology, and tech services from Office Depot, valued at over $2,000.
At Del Mar Elementary, the teachers all took a secret vote and chose Ms. Bozkurt. Ms. Bozkurt is a new teacher who served as a long-term sub assignment at Del Mar in the spring. She was hired at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year. Her fellow teachers unanimously felt all the gifts from Office Depot would help set Ms. Bozkurt’s feet on a successful path.