Press release from Business Wire
Office Depot Recognizes Inspirational Teachers by Supporting Estella's Brilliant Bus
<p class='bwalignc'> <i>Partnership with Estella Pyfrom and Her Mobile Tech Classroom Shines the Spotlight on Educators in Conjunction with REAL Change Productions</i> </p>
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Office Depot Recognizes Inspirational Teachers by Supporting Estella's Brilliant Bus13:22 EDT Thursday, May 02, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. (Business Wire) -- Office Depot (NYSE: ODP), a leading global provider of school supplies, believes in the value of education and supports teachers, parents and students through a variety of give-back programs, including the Star Teacher Program, Office Depot's Teacher Appreciation Week, the Office Depot Foundation's National Backpack Program, and its most recent endeavor with REAL Change Productions.
Office Depot's partnership with REAL Change Productions recognizes inspirational teachers and helps to raise funds to offset out-of-pocket classroom expenses, which 92 percent of teachers spend on average $1,000 a year of their own money.
In the spirit of this campaign, Office Depot continues its commitment to education with its latest donation – a $20,000 contribution to former teacher and guidance counselor Estella Pyfrom and her “Brilliant Bus.”
“Estella embodies the enthusiasm and devotion to education that we want to recognize through our partnership with REAL Change,” said Bob Moore, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer for Office Depot. “With so many teachers using their own funds to purchase classroom supplies, our hope is that Estella's story will serve as a catalyst so that every teacher receives the support necessary for continuing their own inspirational work.”
After dedicating almost 50 years to the Palm Beach County School District, Estella Pyfrom continued looking for ways to help students thrive during her brief professional retirement. Her endless desire to share knowledge and expertise led Estella to use nearly $1 million of her own retirement and pension funds to create “Estella's Brilliant Bus,” a custom-built mobile classroom equipped with Wi-Fi and 17 computer learning stations. As a life-long South Florida resident and former disadvantaged youth, Estella knows that many students lack access to essential resources, especially the tools they need in an ever-increasing digital world. These needs inspired Estella's mobile classroom concept and her befitting motto, “Have knowledge, will travel.”
As a way to support Estella's initiatives and inspiring work, Office Depot donated $20,000 worth of supplies and financial resources to ensure that Estella's Brilliant Bus is not only outfitted with the latest state-of-the-art technology, but is also designed to reach more families. In addition to basic school supplies, Office Depot furnished Estella's Brilliant Bus with Toshiba Satellite laptops, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 tablets, Vivitar digital cameras and GearHead webcams, providing students with the latest technology and allowing Estella to further develop the program. Future plans include expanding the reach of the program and an additional bus.
“Every child has the ability to learn, but some lack access to the critical resources needed for academic and personal success, which is why I created this program,” Pyfrom said. “It is through the support of Office Depot and many others, that I am able to continue my passion and provide families throughout Palm Beach County with the services that can improve their lives.”
Estella's Brilliant Bus has provided more than 8,000 hours of service to more than 500 students in Florida over the last few years. Driving to schools, churches and mobile home communities, Estella has given children of all ages the opportunity to become comfortable with the technology that would otherwise be unavailable to them. By getting parents, students and schools involved, Estella has been able to make a difference within entire communities since the program's inception in 2008.
Following the REAL Change Productions telecast, which aired April 23on CBS, and featured several musicians including Pitbull, Miley Cyrus, Jason Mraz, Justin Bieber and other artists going back to their hometown and acknowledging their most inspiring teacher, Office Depot continues to encourage participants to visit www.officedepot.com/realchange to register a teacher and support a teacher who is spending his/her own pocket money on classroom supplies.
About Office Depot
Office Depot provides office supplies and services through 1,628 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales force, top-rated catalogs, and global e-commerce operations. Office Depot has annual sales of approximately $10.7 billion, employs about 38,000 associates, and serves customers in 60 countries around the world.
Office Depot's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP. Additional press information can be found at: http://news.officedepot.com.
About Estella's Brilliant Bus
Estella's Brilliant Bus is a 501 (C) 3, not-for-profit Corporation dedicated to serving under-resourced communities in South Florida. In an effort to bridge the digital divide and improve the lives of underprivileged families, the mobile learning center provides access to internet, as well as educational programs and instruction in various schools and community organizations.
Estella Pyfrom, founder of Estella's Brilliant Bus, is a retired school teacher and guidance counselor who oversees the entire program. With a mission to create a network of opportunities that will provide educational training and self-help experiences in underserved areas, she hopes to empower children and families with lifelong learning and access to technology by partnering with community agencies and donors.
About REAL Change
REAL Change Productions, LLC (RCP), is a premier production/consultant company established in 2008, focusing on the creative and business sides in television, film, music and special social platforms that complement the world and create change.
Additionally, Founder and CEO Liam Murphy created the Television Special “REAL Change- Artists for Education” to help bring to light educational programs that are helping children, teachers and schools. The annual Television Special will inspire the nation to create change.
Kevin Pchola, 212-299-8950