HPS teachers receive surprise donations for their classrooms

HPS teachers receive surprise donations for their classrooms

The holidays came early for two Hartford Public School teachers who received surprise classroom gifts from WFSB Channel 3’s Liberty Bank Surprise Squad and Donorschoose.org.

Every Thursday, the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad strikes all over Connecticut, helping out deserving individuals and groups.

DonorsChoose.org is an education-focused charity that connects would-be donors to projects requested by public school teachers. Donations of as little as $1 have supported a wide range of projects across the country, from telescopes to robotics kits.

Third-grade teacher at Expeditionary Learning Academy at Moylan School, Kaitlyn Matzek, requested sitting pillows for her students to use during independent reading time. While her students can sit anywhere around the room to read, many choose the floor, which is not comfortable for long periods of reading. She was excited to learn DonorsChoose.org selected her project for support.

“My goal this year is to help my students love to read and become more fluent readers,” said Matzek. “When they are comfortable, they tend to read for longer periods of time and focus more on what they are reading.”

Independent reading is one of the many strategies HPS teachers like Matzek use to provide quality instruction and make sure that all third graders can read at grade level or higher.

Click here to watch Ms. Matzek’s classroom visit from the WFSB Liberty Bank Surprise Squad.



At Rawson Elementary, Resource Teacher Christine Gouveia was interested in obtaining leveled books for her students to use during guided reading time. Leveled books are a set of books organized by level of difficulty. Gouveia hoped that having such books in her classroom would encourage students to advance their reading skills.

She felt as if she’d hit the jackpot when she learned the news. “It is super important to have leveled books because students can pick books on their level to practice their reading skills and strategies,” she said. “This will support my reading goals for students by providing them explicit and targeted instruction with the appropriate leveled books, as well as by having students read, read, read ‘just right books’ to sharpen their reading skills.”


Click here to view Ms. Gouveia’s surprise at Rawson School.


Both donations support the district’s Teaching and Learning priority, and the overall mission of HPS to inspire and prepare all students to succeed in school.