Here's some math: Teacher Appreciation Week x 52. Is that enough to properly recognize the teachers who made a difference in everyone's lives? How about an entire platform dedicated to those who dedicated themselves to you?
Herff Jones Inc. this week launched its "Herff Jones Teacher Shout Out" online social community to allow students and former students of all ages to show their appreciation for the teachers, advisors and coaches who made positive differences in their lives.
The website is www.TeacherShoutOut.com.
"Teachers and other educators give so much to students, and while we know their work is rewarding we also know they don't always get to fully realize the positive impact they have on people's lives," says Ginger Plexico, chief marketing officer, Herff Jones. "This 'Community of Gratitude' provides a compelling, interactive forum for their achievements to be recognized by the very people they've helped."
The Teacher Shout Out site allows current and former students to directly address their favorite teachers, coaches and advisors, saying "thank you," and writing memories of the past and how they shaped the future.
"This site will help teachers see the future they never thought they would see," says Plexico. "Through words and pictures from students past and present, it allows teachers to experience the impact of their work."
Starting January 15, Herff Jones also will use the Teacher Shout Out platform to endow schools and teachers with cash prizes. The first 500 approved Shout Out posts and first 5,000 Facebook "Likes" will earn $10 gift codes and $1 donations, respectively, for DonorsChoose.org, through which specific school projects are funded. In addition, the site will sponsor a contest that awards top Shout Out submissions with $2,500 for active teachers and their schools. In all, $60,000 will go to teachers and schools.
The new website hopes to draw out the creativity of contributors. A downloadable PDF offers writing tips, photography ideas and customizable posters to help participants get the most from their Shout Out submission.
Herff Jones (herffjones.com) provides graduation products, class rings and jewelry, yearbooks, educational publishing, cheerleading, and motivation/recognition tools to schools.