More than 25,000 students have headed back to the classroom, and Graham Automotive Group is launching a new campaign to support the 1,800 teachers in the Sioux Falls School District. Between now and the end of the year, any licensed driver (18 and older) who test drives a vehicle from their lot will get to donate a $20 gift card to any teacher in the Sioux Falls School District. Individuals can test drive new Audis, Volvos, or Volkswagens, or they can choose from the hundreds of used cars in Graham Automotive’s inventory.
A national study (https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2018/05/15/nearly-all-teachers-spend-own-money-school-needs-study/610542002/) found that 94 percent of public school teachers spent money from their own pocket to purchase materials for their classroom; the average amount spent was $479. Al Larimer, the general manager at Graham Automotive Group, wanted to support teachers and help offset some of those costs.
“We know teachers spend money throughout the year to buy things for their classrooms and their students, and we wanted to support local educators who do a great job,” Larimer said. “This is one way for our employees and customers to show educators that we appreciate and recognize what they do every day in the classroom.”
The “Graham Automotive Group Funding Classrooms” campaign is part of Volkswagen’s national “Drive Bigger” event, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. In honor of this milestone, Volkswagen is supporting teachers across the country through its partnership with DonorsChoose.org. At the local level, test drivers will designate gift cards so that educators can purchase whatever supplies they currently need. With the recent start of school, teachers might be buying pencils, folders, or art supplies. When cold and flu season approaches, teachers could use the gift cards to purchase things like Kleenex or hand sanitizer.
The Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation will coordinate getting the gift cards to the teachers.