Congrats to our #BeTheDifference Sweepstakes Winner, Valerie McElroy!

Valerie McElroy’s favorite part of being in fourth grade was assisting younger kids as a student helper. Her knack for guiding others led her to where she is now: teaching fourth-grade English language arts and social studies at Greenwood Elementary School in Florence, SC.

Valerie and The Mailbox® go way back—she shared with us that she has issues of The Mailbox Yearbook from the late 1990s! Right now, she likes to use our collections, worksheets, and activities as well as the Interactive Whiteboard section of The Mailbox Gold toolkit.

Like many schoolteachers, Valerie doesn’t always have access to the supplies she needs to cultivate a successful classroom environment. She decided to start writing grants on, a website that helps public school teachers get funding. So far, she’s received everything from pencils and healthy snacks to Hokki stools. Being proactive about meeting her students’ needs helps her #BeTheDifference—that’s why she’s our grand-prize sweepstakes winner!

So what does Valerie think it means to #BeTheDifference? “To #BeTheDifference means to me that I am using my resources to make a positive, long-lasting difference in the lives of young people.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Congrats, Valerie!


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