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"Write to Change the Classroom" Program Makes A Difference With School Supplies In Classrooms Across The Nation


Walmart Encourages Teachers, Parents and Students to Submit Stories of Supply Needs

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – In February, a letter from a 14-year-old girl to her congressman resulted in recognition from President Obama and a beautifully re-supplied classroom for eighth-grader Ty’Sheoma Bethea and her classmates. Walmart was watching. Today, the retailer is inviting teachers, parents and students to write their own letters for the opportunity to have their classrooms re-supplied this coming school year. Eager to deliver help to other classrooms, Bethea will participate as a judge for the program along with a panel of educators.

The “Write to Change the Classroom” program will award 20 teachers with $4,000 in classroom school supplies to help make a difference in students’ lives and further a cause that began with one courageous letter.

The “Write to Change the Classroom” program is a natural extension of the efforts expressed by Ty’Sheoma Bethea of J.V. Martin Junior High School in South Carolina. With a carefully crafted letter and a lot of determination, her voice was heard as she detailed the dilapidated state of her school’s current learning conditions. As a result, a movement began, a student’s life was changed and a community was united.

"We were inspired by the impact of Miss Bethea’s letter to Congress and wanted to do something that showed our support and appreciation for all the great work teachers are already doing,” said Janet Bareis, Walmart vice president of marketing. “Walmart has long supported teachers and schools. Our goal with this program is to equip students with the necessary tools and resources to help them learn.”

Entrants can submit their 500-words-or-less letter at outlining their school supply needs (e.g. basic educational materials, classroom furniture, technology, etc.) and explaining how these materials will be used throughout the school year. Supply needs might include everything from new computers, to replacing aging, broken or depleted classroom supplies. All entrants must be at least 18 years of age. Any state-accredited elementary (K-6), junior high (7-8) and senior high (9-12) and traditional school is eligible to receive the supplies. The call for entries period will run from July 14 through July 24, 2009.

Selected finalists will receive $4,000-worth of school supplies to their designated classroom and an additional $4,000 toward supplies for their entire school. Essays will be judged on level of need, creativity and the positive impact these supplies will have on the school.

For more information regarding the Walmart “Write to Change the Classroom” program, please visit

About Walmart
Every week, millions of customers visit Walmart stores, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $378 million to local communities in the United States. More information about Walmart can be found by visiting


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