Meet Jennifer Amendola. From the moment the Edison K-8 School administration announced its intention to care for students facing homelessness, kindergarten teacher Jennifer Amendola was there to make sure that intention turned into action.
Jennifer attended every single planning meeting and was soon securing donations of fruit snacks and other healthy items to fill “Boost Bags” -- bags of food that provide a “boost” of nutrition over the weekend to help combat the effects of homelessness.
She started gathering volunteers to help fill the Boost Bags, beginning with nurses from one of the local hospitals. She contacted the Boston College football team and organized players to bring grocery gift cards to the students and to help assemble bags. She even connected with the Red Sox and convinced some of the player’s wives to provide brand new backpacks to fill with food!
The school’s principal tells us that one of her favorite moments each week is watching Jennifer personally deliver Boost Bags to the homeless students, and check in with each child. It’s also Jennifer’s favorite time, because, as she says, “by the smiles on the students faces I’m able to see the impact we’re making.”
A local news station did a short profile of the Boost Bag Program that features Jennifer. Take a look and you’ll see why Jennifer is indeed a teacher champion.
As one of Project Bread’s 2019 Teacher Champions, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts are happy to celebrate Jennifer and the eleven other winners.
Learn more about our 2019/20 Initiative to address hunger in the classroom with our partners and the other Teacher Champions fighting hunger in their schools.