$10,000 worth of supplies donated to Birmingham school

By Ashley Nix

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. (WBRC) - It came just in the nick of time: $10,000 worth of school supplies delivered to Birmingham's Hill Elementary thanks to some generous donors.

"It feels like Christmas in March," Principal Teresa Ragland said. "They're getting wonderful things in their classroom that they can manipulate and read all sorts of new material."

The donors are Roger and Sandra Bates. They became the benefactors of a family members' trust fund and say they both wanted the money to go directly to teachers to be used inside the classrooms. Sandra Bates says the effort was especially important for her as a teacher years ago.

"We were given the opportunity to direct some trust money to be used for this purpose," Roger Bates said.  "We're thrilled and hope this is gonna be used for the kids in their development."

State Board of Education member Dr. Yvette Richardson says she was truly floored at the timing of it all.

"I feel it's timely because the Bates called me prior to proration being declared by Governor Bentley," Richardson said.  That's why this was so special to the school kids and teachers.

"We certainly thank the family and the community for supporting Birmingham City," said Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon.

The donation started out at $10,000 but FOX 6 is told it has grown so more schools will benefit.  It's welcome news during a time when funding is hard to come by.

"It's a blessing," Ragland said.  "It takes a village. The Bates care about kids and care about the learning."