LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - McWhorter Elementary School teacher Crystal Fuqua is the first 2018-2019 recipient of KCBD’s One Class At A Time donation and recognition sponsored by Frontier Dodge and Spirit Automotive.
Through online nominations, Fuqua, who teaches 3rd grade math for the Lubbock ISD school, was selected to receive a check for $500. The program gives the teacher a chance to choose a charity or non-profit that will also receive $500.
“My first thought was surely they got the wrong person,” Fuqua said. “I was really shocked.”
Fuqua tells KCBD that she always felt she needed to be in education in some way or form.
“I haven’t always taught,” Fuqua said. “I worked in an educational setting outside of a school. I came back to the classroom after doing that. I just really enjoy being around the kids. I enjoy working with the people I work with. I just feel like it’s part of my calling. It’s what I need to do.”
Many of the nominators wrote to KCBD saying Mrs. Fuqua provides a loving classroom in this low-income school filled with all the resources the students need to be successful, even if that means using her own money.
“We have great, great, wonderful families and parents,” Fuqua said. “But, a lot of times they struggle and they need some assistance. I tend to put in some of my own funding into my classrooms and a lot of other teachers do too. We want our classrooms to look fun and welcoming so the children come in and think ‘Oh, I’m glad to be here today,’ or ‘This looks exciting and fun.’ Also, we spend our money on different things like math manipulatives, pencils, rulers, erasers, different things like that. The money that’s being awarded to me will really come in handy to help offset some of the money spent in the classroom.”
Besides the additional funding, Fuqua says the best part is knowing the impact she makes on her students.
“The biggest blessing out of all of this to know there are parents out there who appreciate the work that I’m doing with their kids,” Fuqua said. “We spend so many hours during the day with their children. We get to know their children really well and in turn we get to know the families really well. It’s really cool to see that come back into this kind of a blessing. It’s exciting.”
Fuqua chose Dusty Puddles Dachshund Rescue to receive the additional $500. This is a non-profit that works to recover, rehabilitate and provide a home to Dachshunds.
“Our supporters like Ms. Fuqua, they’re what keep this rescue going,” Owner Cheryl Drewry said. “This is what saves dogs. It’s a tremendous honor to be chosen.”
Fuqua said it breaks her heart to see disabled or senior dogs tossed aside and others who don’t have a home and wanted to provide the funding needed to care for the animals.
“That’s two fully vetted dogs,” Drewry said. “That’s the price of trays of shots to keep them going. That’s heart-worm prevention we give our rescues monthly. It’s disinfectant that we use to keep Distemper and Parvo down. It’s everything I can possibly think of, bedding, beds, towels and blankets, collars and leashes. It goes so far.”
Frontier Dodge and Spirit Auto are excited too see the difference made by One Class at a Time in this new school year.
“We’re locally owned and we want to make sure we give back to our community, making sure everyone is taken care of,” Spirit Auto General Manager Kyle Porras said.
“These are the kids our kids go to school with,” Frontier Dodge General Manager Rick Harrison said. “We see them in the grocery stores and we see them on a daily basis. It’s exciting to see the impact we can do locally.”
To nominate a teacher for One Class at a Time, click here.