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Tanglewood teacher Jamie Metivier wins $100,000 as part of Farmers Insurance Dream Big Competition

November 29, 2018

Tanglewood Elementary School teacher Jamie Metivier was surprised today by Farmers Insurance with $100,000 after her Thank America’s Teachers® Dream Big Teacher Challenge® grant application was named a winner in the competition.

Metivier’s application proposed expanding Tanglewood Elementary School’s “Kindness Closet” so it can become a resource for all six schools in the South Glens Falls Central School District. The money will be used to help build a freestanding structure for supplies and enable the district to offer household items to families who need them across all the schools.

The Kindness Closet is a project Metivier started to address the drastically changing socio-economic dynamics at Tanglewood. Not only does the school have families living in poverty, but also middle-class families suffering from layoffs and downsizing that puts financial burdens on the students and their families. The Kindness Closet is intended to help families with basic household items—but the needs go well beyond Metvier’s current resources.

“I was shocked, I was surprised, and I am so thankful,” said Metivier, who moments earlier had talked to students about the Kindness Closet during a school assembly and reiterated that the school can help them if they need it. She was surprised by representatives from Farmers Insurance and her family after she talked about the closet.

“The Kindness Closet is a perfect example of the lessons we are trying to teach our children on a regular basis,” said Superintendent of Schools Kristine Orr. “We’re so thrilled that Jamie’s vision to expand the Kindness Closet is a reality. Her dream will make the lives of thousands of people in our community better.”

“This is such a huge win for the entire area,” said Justin Rickson of Farmers Insurance. “It is truly inspiring how a small upstate New York community could pull together to support Jamie and this great cause, and I hope this will help bring even more awareness to what Jamie does and the Kindness Closet.”

Votes poured in nationwide in October and November for the top 15 finalists and Metivier’s proposal was one of the five to receive the most votes. Metivier is the second teacher to be surprised with her $100,000 grant following the end of public voting on Nov. 3.

“I am incredibly proud of Jamie and her work to help others. She is an example for all of our students and staff,” said Tanglewood Elementary School Principal Matt Conrick. “And that’s what the Kindness Closet is all about—helping others.”


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