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Fifth Annual 'I’m Thankful for My Teacher' Kicks Off in San Diego County

The “I’m Thankful for My Teacher” campaign has generated more than 25,000 thank you notes to thousands of teachers at hundreds of local schools since its launch five years ago.

Many local students will be giving thanks to their teachers this Thanksgiving season.

For the fifth year, Mission Federal Credit Union, Cox and Junior Achievement have partnered to present the “I’m Thankful for My Teacher” campaign to give students and their families an opportunity to thank dedicated teachers throughout San Diego County.

“My teacher is so helpful,” said 10-year-old Brandon of Wolf Canyon Elementary School of Chula Vista. “She’s there for me through all the bad times I go through. She is helping me and teaching me everything that I know.”

Including Brandon, roughly 130 fifth graders kicked off the campaign and wrote thank you notes for their teachers Thursday during a trip to Junior Achievement’s BizTown, a 10,000-square-foot mini-city where students learn about the free enterprise system.

Since the campaign launched five years ago, students have submitted more than 25,000 thank you notes to thousands of teachers at hundreds of local schools.

“We wanted to provide a feel-good holiday for the teachers at a time when the budget cuts were really kind of a depressing part of reality for teachers,” said Tricia Link, vice president of community relations and external affairs at Mission Federal Credit Union.

Link said students wrote 4,000 notes during the first year of the campaign, and more students have participated every year. Last year, nearly 8,700 students from 437 schools wrote thank you notes to 1,538 teachers.

“It’s nice,” said Jason Cross, a fifth grade teacher at Wolf Canyon Elementary School. “I’d love to read letters and get an insight into how my students feel outside of the instructional realm.”

Parents and kindergarten through 12th grade students who attend any public, private, charter or home school located within San Diego County can stop by any Mission Federal Credit Union branch or local Cox Store between Nov. 1 and Dec. 8 to fill out and drop off a thank you note to share “why they are thankful for their teacher.” Families can also visit www.missionfed.com/im-thankful to send a virtual thank you note.

“I think all of our teachers do a great job,” said Yelka Vargas, a mother of two students. “They do deserve to be thanked.”

All thank you notes will be delivered to teachers at the end of the campaign.

A $100 Visa gift card will be awarded to the eight teachers who receive the most notes. Their students will earn a classroom party or fieldtrip of their choice as well as Junior Achievement’s financial education curriculum. In addition, the top 10 participating schools will earn $200 School Spirit Awards and 10 teachers will receive Outstanding Teacher Dedication Award prizes based on the content of the thank you notes. Winning teachers and schools will be announced in February, when an awards ceremony will also be held at BizTown.

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