Friday, March 22, 2013

Pay It Forward: Giving to Teachers

If you've been following See Beautiful for a while, you know that in lieu of selecting a non-profit this month to donate a portion of our product sales to, we're honoring teachers (and their awesomeness!) throughout the month by supporting ways they're creating more beautiful in their classrooms. This is how we're seeing beauty in this moment: In teachers!

This month, See Beautiful will randomly select 10 teachers who have submitted entries with us to receive $100 each to support them in their journey of creating more beautiful learning environments for their students!
Week 1 Winners: Lindsay McCollum (Vienna, Austria) & Sarah Moske (Tennessee, USA)
Week 2 Winners: April Sheivelhud (Georgia, USA) & Carol Olden (Utah, USA) 

 So, each week we will select two teachers from around the world, and make a donation to her/his classroom. On average, teachers spend $400 per year to stock their classrooms with supplies for students, but we personally know hundreds who spend hundreds more than that to create a hands-on, engaging, exciting learning environments for young learners to grow within.  We see so much beautiful in those teachers who work so hard to empower children to create a more beautiful world built upon critical thinking, empowerment, confidence, love and social justice. Thank you teachers. Thank you so, so much.

Here are the submissions from around the world this past week. As you will see, each of the teacher's who entered this opportunity have incredible reflections about how their students see and create more beautiful in the world. It gives us so much hope that such inspiring, giving, committed, loving teachers are making this world a better place with children on a daily basis.
(NOTE: Those teachers who are not selected will be automatically added to next week's random drawing.)

1. Jenni Nelso; Utah, USA

Jenni writes, "Beautiful is in the face of a child who hates school and needs to be loved, encouraged, and have someone to believe in them. Seeing a child begin to put forth effort and then succeed, because they not only feel safe, but feel that someone believes they can do great things. Then to see this child learn to love school and gain self-confidence is seeing beautiful.

$100 would help to purchase books for using for small group instruction. The books the school has are quite outdated and there are some fabulous new novels waiting to enrich student’s minds!"

 2. Janalee Ferreira; Talara, Peru

Janalee writes, "As soon as I read this article, I knew I had to apply... But not for me, for my beautiful students. I am currently working in an English language institute in Talara, Peru. I teach English to both adults and children for five hours a day and I love my job so much solely because of how magical my students are. Talara is quite a poor town on the northern coast of Peru, and I know many students and their family's how save up money for months per a year..." (the rest of her comment was cut off...don't worry, we'll get it though)

3. Kathryn Antman; Georgia, USA

Kathryn writes, "I have the joy of seeing beautiful in the creations of my elementary art students. In my studio classroom each artist is encouraged to create from their own inspiration, and they have tons of inspiration! If you all were kind enough to send $100 our way, I would purchase a drawing tablet or two (if I can find a sale) for our classroom computers. It is hard to draw with a mouse and the tablet would make a huge difference in the enjoyment and skill of my digital artists. Thank you!"

 4. Carole Felton, Georgia, USA

Carole writes,
"B-Beautiful children
E-Engaged in authentic learning
A-Always eager to please the teacher
U-Unbelievable thirst for knowledge
F-Friendly towards classmates
U-United with education
L-Loves to read nonfiction stories"

5. Alyssa Hadley Dunn, Georgia, USA


My students will soon have students of their own. They are preparing to be middle and high school teachers, amidst a climate that tells them, too often, that teaching is an easy profession, one that is not worthwhile, and one that is to blame for all of society's problems. But my students know better. They know that teachers are merely one part of a system and that it really does "take a village." But this does not stop them or change the tremendous sense of responsibility they feel for helping all children reach their highest potential. My students are beautiful because, despite all the obstacles and challenges in their way and despite recent policies and practices that seek to disempower educators, they strive to be strong pedagogues and caring, generous agents of change for urban schools and students. Because of their joy, energy, curiosity, and passion, I am better able to see the hope and possibility in education today... to see beautiful.

If I were chosen to receive $100 for my students, I would give it to the class and let them decide to which educational charity or non-profit they would like to donate in our class' name. Currently, they are working with Foreverfamily, a non-profit after school and prison visitation program for Atlanta children of incarcerated parents. I suspect they may choose to donate to Foreverfamily because of the beauty they have witnessed in the children there. However, whatever donation recipient they choose, I know they will appreciate the opportunity to "pay it forward" and help children in need." 

6.  Kathy Boccia, Tennessee, USA

Kathy writes, "I see beautiful in my students when they serve as greeters each day, welcoming everyone to school with a warm smile a cheery "Good morning!" .... when they proudly display their creativity in the hallways... when they laugh as they play with each other at recess... when they reverently pray at our weekly Mass... when they offer kind words and a hug to a classmate... when they persevere through the challenges that are placed before them... when they joyfully exclaim "Oh! Now I get it!" ...when they snuggle on pillows in a cozy nook in their classroom quietly reading a book...when they demonstrate how to be a true athlete by winning humbly and losing graciously...when they chose to be role models for the younger children...when they offer their time, talent and treasure to be of service to the community...when they allow themselves to be the ears, hands, words and arms of God. I would use the $100 to stencil inspirational quotes on the walls of our school - leaving a legacy of "beautiful" for all to see!"

7. Maggie Rector, Georgia, USA

The following was submitted on behalf of Maggie (which is beautiful), "This submission is for my first grader's teacher, Maggie Rector. I see a beautiful spirit every time I am around Maggie. She is kind to each of her students everyday and speaks with each one as if they were the most precious gift to her. I love that in every newsletter that comes home, Maggie begins by thanking us for sharing our child with her. As a mother and a teacher educator, it means the world to me to know that my son is with a teacher who truly cares about him as a person first and then as a student. Maggie's genuine love for teaching and learning is contagious and shows up in the eagerness her students show when they go to school. Also, Maggie is getting married this weekend so what a great teacher gift it would be for her to win this prize."

We will use to randomly select 2 winners this week. These two winners will be announced on See Beautiful's Facebook page (at 5 PM EST) and the two winners will be contacted immediately via email.

If you're a teacher, or know a teacher who might be interested in submitting her/his name for next week, click HERE to learn how easy-breezy it is for you to enter. We have 8 more teachers who will win $100 each throughout the month of March, so join in!! 

Are you looking for a for a tangible reminder to see beautiful, or know someone who needs one? Check out our See Beautiful products (and feel good knowing a all proceeds are being put toward donations to school teachers throughout the month). Learn more HERE.


  1. We just love reading these and reading some of them again and again. And again See Beautiful want a BEAUTIFUL thing you are doing!

  2. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! Hurray for teachers!

    Your pal, Pip

  3. Love this space you've created for the world. I believe strongly in becoming what we see and focus upon. Thanks for opening the curtains to what is beautiful.

  4. Any and all the teachers I 've known truly fit the "see Beautiful"


Thank you for sharing your thoughts & helping others see beautiful too!