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Patty Jenkins, Scott Lane Elementary School Teacher, Wins a $1,000 DonorsChoose Gift Card

On Sept. 14, Patty Jenkins, a third grade teacher at Scott Lane Elementary School, learned that she won a $1,000 DonorsChoose gift card through the College Football Playoff Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that, according to its website, aims to inspire and empower teachers.

“The $1,000 gift card that Patty received came from the College Football Playoff Foundation, which used the 49ers EDU and Pac-12 to help issue the grant,” said Kathie Kanavel, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at the Santa Clara Unified School District. “The $1000 gift card comes from DonorsChoose, which matches teachers’ needs with willing donors.”

Kanavel nominated Jenkins for the award.

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“Patty stands out as a leader at that school,” Kanavel said. “Patty is always stepping up to go above and beyond. She continues to take care of her students and the families of her students. She gets to know all the families. She makes sure kids are getting online everyday, and being engaged in their learning. She is always positive.”

“The College Football Playoff Foundation, Kathie, the principal and the teachers called a Zoom meeting to announce that I won this prize,” Jenkins said. “They said I was a team player and that I was dedicated. I’ve been in the district for 20 years.”

Jenkins plans to share the money on the gift card with the staff at Scott Lane.

“Right now, I’m trying to find out about what the needs of other teachers are,” Jenkins said. “Maybe they need supplies or books or a projector. I would like to share the prize with the school. I’m asking around right now to find out what the needs are so we can put that money to good use.”

Jenkins shared her teaching philosophy about kids coming first.

“With the pandemic, there is a lot of trauma among the students,” Jenkins said. “A lot of students haven’t been out. I just want to make sure that during the five hours they spend with me, they have a good time learning and sharing. I just want students to feel safe and to feel good about themselves, and that they know they are resilient.”

According to Jenkins, every morning, her students share about how they’re feeling by visiting a virtual room she created.

“So if a child is feeling happy, they go to a happy room and receive suggestions,” Jenkins said.  “If they’re feeling sad, they can go to a sad room and receive suggestions to make them feel better.  Suggestions might include doing yoga, dancing, doing an art project, listening to a happy song, watching a funny video or reading an inspiring book. We do some of these activities as a class.”

“We are thankful for the partnership with 49ers EDU and the College Football Playoff Foundation for carrying on this tradition to recognize our staff for their outstanding work and contributions to education,” said Superintendent Dr. Stella Kemp. “Scott Lane Elementary School serves a primarily Latino community in our school district and has specialized bilingual education and dual language immersion programs.”

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