On average teachers spend more than $1,000 of their own money on classroom supplies annually.

That's why OfficeMax and Adopt-A-Classroom joined forces to create the A Day Made Better program. Through their efforts they hope to erase teacher-funded classrooms.

On Tuesday, officials from OfficeMax visited the Tamaqua Elementary School to present Maureen Schoener, early intervening instructor, with a surprise gift of classroom supplies and an award for her dedication to the students. The gift included a desk chair, laser printer, and other classroom supplies worth $1,000.

The event, which occurred in 1,000 schools across the country at 10 a.m. on Oct. 6, offered students the opportunity to celebrate Schoener by participating in the surprise.

Principal Steven Behr said that he nominated Schoener for the award because he felt she was very deserving and would share with her colleagues.

"Maureen is an invaluable member of the Tamaqua Elementary School faculty," he said. "Her hard work and dedication has helped all students in our schools to find success, build relationships, and interact with quality curricular materials."

He added that it was a hard decision because there are many teachers in the school district that deserve this award.

Schoener, who had no idea she was receiving the award, said she was surprised and thankful for the recognition.

"I'm overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and kindness," she said. "I do what I do because I love the kids. This is just an added bonus."

She said she plans to share the gift with her students and anyone who needs supplies.

"The kids will benefit from this."

Schoener, who lives in Tamaqua, has been with the school district for 23 years. She serves not only Tamaqua Elementary School, but also Rush Elementary and West Penn Elementary.

A Day Made Better was founded by OfficeMax and Adopt-A-Classroom in 2007 as a way to help teachers cut down on costs of classroom supplies. The event is annually held on Oct. 6 at 10 a.m.

According to the A Day Made Better Web site, the reason for the program was to raise awareness of "the issue of teacher out-of-pocket spending and motivate the public to take action by supporting local educators through Adopt-A-Classroom."

Since the program's inception, A Day Made Better has helped more than 10,000 classrooms.

For more information on A Day Made Better, visit www.adaymadebetter.com.