COVID-19 has forced changes for a lot of annual events.

One that fell by the wayside was a breakfast provided by Independence Bank for area teachers.

This week, Independence Bank found another way to support teachers.

On Thursday and Friday, Frankfort teachers could pick up a goody bag at either local branch and register for a $250 Amazon gift card.

“We decided to do something to recognize our teachers,” said Greg Burton, county president of Independence Bank. “What we’ve done in the past is have breakfast for them, but then there was COVID.

“We wanted to do something. The one who wins the gift card could use it on more supplies for their class. We know a lot of teachers spend their own money on those.”

Melissa Wiard, who’s beginning her eighth year at Hearn Elementary, appreciated the thought as much as the goody bag.

“It really means more than people realize,” she said about the recognition. “Teachers really need to feel support, especially from the local community.

“We love the (Independence Bank) breakfast at Hearn,” said Wiard, who teaches fifth grade. “To feel the support from a local business is awesome.”

Jayme Boswell is a preschool teacher at Collins Lane Elementary starting her seventh year at the school.

She said the gift card could be a big boost for educators.

“Teachers spend so much money on their classrooms,” she said. “They want everything to look perfect. This year will look different. It’s the way we have to do things for now, working inside of our homes.”

The city and county school systems are beginning the school year on Wednesday with 100% virtual learning.

And they’ll start the year knowing people support their work.

“For someone like Independence Bank to give us a bag of goodies, it tells us they’re thinking of us," Boswell added. "It’s like they’re cheerleaders, and it’s nice to have someone thinking of you and your students.”

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