We kicked off the month of May by celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week and bringing our Random Acts of Helpfulness to deserving teachers at schools in Los Angeles, Riverside, Hawthorne, Canoga Park, and San Clemente. From May 1st – May 5th, we surprised an inspirational teacher each day. We presented a classroom makeover; much needed technology; learning materials; and even a surprise field trip, in an effort to help further their impact inside and outside of the classroom.


That week, we started off in San Clemente, surprising Mr. Hobbs and Mr. Yanaura of Vista Del Mar Middle School with advanced technology equipment. Mr. Hobbs and Mr. Yanaura are the technology and physical education teachers and considered the unofficial ‘mascots’ of their school.  The principal nominated both teachers because they put in countless hours during lunch, after school, on the weekends, and even through the summer for their students. Both teachers help students learn Photoshop, 3D printing, robotics, and advanced video production. They also, to promote health, organize lunch time sports for the students, and even help train, encourage, and run alongside them at the 26 mile LA Marathon. Mr. Hobbs and Mr. Yanaura needed advanced technology equipment, including 3D printer supplies, Robotics Kits, and video production equipment; so, during an assembly, we surprised the teachers with much-needed technology materials.


Then, we headed over to Canoga Park Early Education Center to honor pre-school teacher Mrs. Joaquin. She teaches children three years old to five years old, serving both special needs students and general education students. The school recently became certified as a Nature Explorer Outdoor learning site, so during an outdoor school assembly, we surprised Mrs. Joaquin with her wish list of outdoor learning materials to better maximize her students’ potential for learning.


Next, we crashed Mr. Flores’s special education classroom at Hawthorne High School. Mr. Flores runs a program for students with moderate to severe learning disabilities that focus heavily on functional skills. In addition to standard classroom work, his students spend a tremendous amount of time with hands-on experiential work and life experiences. This requires supplies and money, which the school is not always able to provide. While Mr. Flores has received some donations, most of the expenses come out of his own pocket. His Kool Kidz (twitter.com/koolkidzHHS) experience includes, special lessons inside the classroom, outside the classroom and learning basic real world experiences. These learning techniques help with future every day activities. While Mr. Flores took his class on a field trip, our Guys in Blue went straight to work by giving his classroom a helpful makeover – complete with new moving desks, ample storage, chairs, brand new couches and even more to better enhance his students’ learning experience.


The following day, we made our way over to Mrs. Stout at Highland Elementary in Riverside. She is a teacher who selflessly gives to her students, staff and parents, even while battling breast cancer. Not only does she invest in her students by ensuring they all have the tools, resources, and support to be successful, she also guides, mentors and leads new and veteran teachers. Mrs. Stout often plans school activities including school beautification days, talent shows, career days, and most importantly, taking her students on field trips. Funds are not always available, so Mrs. Stout fundraises on her own. We surprised her by crashing her classroom, and in addition to a donation of school supplies, we announced that the entire classroom was going to the LA Zoo .. and the bus was leaving in 10 minutes!


We finished Teacher Appreciation Week off in Los Angeles at Marvin Elementary by surprising Mrs. Jarrett and her 4th grade class. Mrs. Jarrett has turned her classroom into a very unique, progressive learning experience by making it a functioning country called “Classtopia.” In Classtopia the students a.k.a. citizens are taught to improve their country through various departments that are civically crowd-funded. Various departments include: Gardening, Photography, Pet Care, Communication and Justice. Classtopia uses Google technology (docs, sheets, slides, email, classroom and blogger), to help run their country effectively. However, many of the Classtopians don’t have access to computers at school or even in their homes. To help Mrs. Jarrett and her class, we made a helpful donation of Chromebooks, so that Classtopia can continue to be a bigger success, and act as a forward-thinking teaching model.


Interested in watching these teachers stories? You can follow us on social media to check it out. ‘Like’ us on Facebook at Facebook.com/SoCalHondaDealers, follow us on Twitter at @HelpfulHonda and on Instagram at @socalhondadealers. So, what’s next? Our Helpful Honda Tanker Truck is back. We’re helping by pumping free gas for all Honda drivers. Also, keep an eye out for our SoCal Honda Ice Cream Truck which will be back on the road with free treats this summer.  Follow us to stay updated on where we’re bringing Random Acts of Helpfulness next!