LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Slaton ISD Fine Arts teacher James Villanueva is the second recipient of KCBD's One Class At A Time donation sponsored by Frontier Dodge and Spirit Automotive.
One Class At A Time awards a local teacher, nominated by peers, to receive $500 with the opportunity to choose a charity to receive $500 as well.
"I didn't expect this award," Villanueva said. I don't expect to be rewarded for work that I love to do, but this is a great, great honor. Whoever nominated me, thank you so much. It means a lot to me."
Among his many teaching duties, Villanueva heads Slaton ISD's theater program. He said any monetary assistance is welcome to any teacher, especially one in fine arts.
"Being a theater teacher, there is always some kind of issue that comes up where I have to go and buy costume pieces," Villanueva said. "I even have to go buy striking tape. I have to go and buy tools to fix set pieces. It's constant spending of money. This goes really far in our program."
He calls his decision on what charity he would chose for a donation a no-brainer. The Weekend Snack Sack Program in Slaton got the $500.
"We provide 527 sacks per week for the children in our Stephen F. Austin and Cathleen Thomas Elementary schools," Board Member Donna Englund said. "It means we are able to help them with food over the weekend for any child that may be suffering from hunger. It has a great impact on our financial status to get a donation like this."
Englund said each sack costs the program $1.47.
"When we provide weekend snack sacks for children, they are able to come back to school on Monday more prepared, not as tired, their teachers have seen an improvement in their attitude," Englund said. "It helps them get ready for the week and for learning."
As not only a teacher, but also the editor of the local newspaper, The Slatonite, Villanueva said he sees that hunger firsthand.
"We have some kids where this is survival for them," Villanueva said. "I think it's so important they get the nutrition they need when they are not in school."
"I know they work day in day out to help provide for these kids, to make sure they have what they need and I'm glad Frontier Dodge and Spirit Automotive can definitely help out with that," Mike Guerra, general manager of Spirit Automotive said. "It's great we can give back and help out in any way we can."
General Manger of Frontier Dodge Bobby Ray said the second One Class At A Time presentation was just as exciting as the first and he hopes it continues.
"We encourage everyone to nominate the teacher of your choice so we can keep doing this program," Ray said. "We'd love to do this for years and years to come."