Eva Turner Elementary School teachers thought they were attending a Sept. 6 back-to-school pep rally, but instead received a $10,000 surprise from Burlington Stores.

Burlington Stores, Inc., through its partnership with AdoptAClassroom.org, donated $10,000 to Eva Turner in celebration of its new store opening in Waldorf. Burlington opens next week at its new store location in the former Sports Authority space in Shoppers World. The money, said Turner Principal Ingrid Williams-Horton, will be divided equally among classroom teachers so they can buy classroom supplies through AdoptAClassroom.org.

Members of the Thomas Stone High School marching band drumline and cheerleading squad created a pep rally atmosphere in the school gymnasium as they welcomed teachers and staff. “Boys and girls, teachers and staff, I am so excited to be back at Eva Turner Elementary School again,” Williams-Horton said before thanking the Stone students and introducing honored guests. Williams-Horton then admitted to the audience that the pep rally was a ruse, and she had told a tiny fib to keep the surprise secret. She begged forgiveness as she invited Burlington Store’s Waldorf Manager Robert Spencer to reveal the real reason for the assembly and to present an oversized $10,000 donation check.

“On behalf of Eva Turner Elementary School, I would like to thank Burlington Stores and AdoptAClassroom.org for adopting our entire school,” Williams-Horton said. “Our teachers look forward to using the funds to enhance learning in our school and in their classrooms.”

During the 2017-2018 school year, Burlington Stores and AdoptAClassroom.org adopted more than 70 schools across the nation. Locally, Burlington has also adopted a classroom at John Hanson Middle School. “Every year we pick a school and class to support. This year, it is John Hanson and we ask for donations at our store, telling customers what it is for,” Spencer said.

“Burlington Stores and AdoptAClassroom.org are thrilled that you have agreed to partner with us to conduct a school adoption assembly at your school,” Spencer said.

AdoptAClassroom.org provides teachers with an online marketplace of nearly 30 school specialty and office supply vendors where they can purchase the materials and tools they need to better engage with their students.