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Toledo Head Start's Heather Davis-Harris honored as 'Teacher Hero'

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    Heather Davis-Harris, center, sits with several of her students at Toledo Public Schools Head Start on Wednesday, April 11 in North Toledo. Volunteers from PNC Bank dropped off 1,000 book bags for preschoolers before holding a ceremony to award one teacher, Ms. Davis-Harris, with two $2,000 gift cards to help with supplies for her classroom.

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    PNC's James Adams, left, works with other volunteers to unload backpacks at Toledo Public Schools Head Start on Wednesday in North Toledo. Volunteers from PNC Bank dropped off 1,000 bookbags for preschoolers before holding a ceremony to award one teacher, Heather Davis-Harris, with two $2,000 gift cards to help with supplies for her classroom. The donations are part of PNC's Grow Up Great program.

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    PNC volunteers Jean Derr, left, Reggie Bradley, center, and Heather Bates, right, unload donated backpacks at Toledo Public Schools Head Start Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

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    PNC volunteer Heather Bates, center, receives a box of backpacks as she and other volunteers unload them at Toledo Public Schools Head Start Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

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    Preschoolers investigate their newly donated book bags.

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After spending two decades striving to be a hero for the pre-K students in her classroom, Heather Davis-Harris was recognized for her heroic efforts.

PNC Bank on Wednesday gave Mrs. Davis-Harris a “Teacher Hero” award for her efforts in the classroom.

The ceremony took place at Toledo Public Schools Head Start on Superior Street.

HERO12

Heather Davis-Harris, center, sits with several of her students at Toledo Public Schools Head Start on Wednesday, April 11 in North Toledo. Volunteers from PNC Bank dropped off 1,000 book bags for preschoolers before holding a ceremony to award one teacher, Ms. Davis-Harris, with two $2,000 gift cards to help with supplies for her classroom.

The Blade/Katie Rausch
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Mrs. Davis-Harris received a $2,000 gift card to fund a project in her classroom and a second $2,000 gift card to help other pre-K projects listed on DonorsChoose.org, a nonprofit website that help supply resources to public classrooms.

“It’s money to buy stuff for our class,” Mrs. Davis-Harris said to the group of preschoolers surrounding her.

“We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to reach his or her full potential and we know that early learning is critical to success later in life,” said Bill McDonnell, PNC Bank’s Toledo regional president.

Last year, Mrs. Davis-Harris spent her own money to bring building blocks into her classroom.

PNC recognizes teachers across the country are reaching into their own pockets to purchase necessary education materials that cash-strapped schools cannot provide, Mr. McDonnell said.

Mrs. Davis-Harris said she appreciated the honor and was “completely caught off guard” by the recognition.

“I’m so grateful to have that money to buy something for the kids,” she said.

Hope Bland, executive director of Head Start, said Mrs. Davis-Harris has been “phenomenal in taking the lead in terms of creating and developing projects for her classroom.”

Before the ceremony, PNC Bank employees unloaded 1,000 yellow backpacks filled with resource materials to help parents and caregivers prepare their children for kindergarten. The backpacks were distributed to the students in attendance.

 Contact Javonte Anderson at janderson@theblade.com419-724-6065, or on Twitter @JavonteA.

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