Wal-Mart and Phi Delta Kappa Kick Off 2004 Teacher Recognition Program

February 02, 2004
Larger state and national grants bring this year’s total to $4.3 million for winning teachers’ schools.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Wendy Sept or Sarah Clark
(479) 273-4314

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 2, 2004 Ð Know a teacher who deserves an A+? Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB shoppers can recognize local teachers through the company’s ninth annual Teacher of the Year program, which officially kicks off today.

Through the program, which is one of the largest teacher recognition efforts in the country, Wal-Mart will give back $4.3 million this year alone to the schools of winning teachers, according to Betsy Reithemeyer, director of the Wal-Mart/SAM’S CLUB Foundation. "Education is a cornerstone commitment for Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB associates nationwide," she added. "We are proud to help raise awareness for excellence in education and to salute teachers, who play such an important role in growing and shaping young people. We encourage parents to help students nominate a teacher who’s made a difference in their lives."

Since the Teacher of the Year program began in 1995, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has honored more than 18,000 teachers nationwide and donated more than $10.4 million to local schools. Last year alone, $3.6 million was awarded to schools nationwide and in Puerto Rico. In total, last year the company contributed more than $40 million in support of educational initiatives.

Anyone can recommend an outstanding teacher by visiting a local Wal-Mart store, Supercenter, Neighborhood Market or SAM’S CLUB and filling out a nomination form. Wal-Mart works with Phi Delta Kappa International, the world’s leading education association, to implement their annual teacher recognition program. Nominations also can be downloaded from the Phi Delta Kappa Web site at www.pdkintl.org and turned in at any store or club. Nominations will be accepted through Feb. 29.

Winning teachers will receive $1,000 educational grants from the Wal-Mart/SAM’S CLUB Foundation to benefit their local school and an honorary Wal-Mart greeter’s vest. Winning teachers also have the opportunity to apply for state and national Teacher of the Year honors. Increased this year, state winners will receive an additional $10,000 educational grant. The state winners will automatically be entered in the national competition. The national winner will receive an additional $25,000 educational grant for a total of $36,000 to his or her school.

"America’s teachers are being mandated to improve student achievement, but they are not being provided the resources to do so by local, state, and federal government," said George Kersey, Jr., executive director of Phi Delta Kappa International. "We are pleased to work in partnership with the Wal-Mart Foundation again in this year’s Teacher of the Year recognition program. This program recognizes the value of teachers and represents a tangible contribution for school improvement by corporate America."

About Phi Delta Kappa International
Phi Delta Kappa International is committed to leadership, service, and research in education. It is a professional association composed of educators at all levels. Member chapters are active throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad. As an association, Phi Delta Kappa works to promote quality education, with particular emphasis on publicly supported education, as essential to the development and maintenance of a democratic way of life. In addition, the organization supports educators in their work through publications, research, and professional development opportunities. Visit www.pdkintl.org to learn more about Phi Delta Kappa International.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUBS in all 50 states. Internationally, the company operates in Puerto Rico, Canada, China, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom, Argentina, and South Korea. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. Last year, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., contributed more than $140 million to support communities and local nonprofit organizations. Customers and associates raised an additional $70 million at stores and clubs. More information about Wal-Mart can be located on-line at www.walmartstores.com and www.walmart.com. The SAM’S CLUB Web site can be accessed at www.samsclub.com. And more information about Wal-Mart’s Good Works community involvement is available online at www.walmartfoundation.org