The Adopt-a-Class TN program was established by Karen Hamerslag in 2017 as an opportunity for Tellico Village residents to volunteer in local elementary schools. As new residents of this retirement community for active adults, she and her husband were interested in community service, and were accepted as volunteers at Loudon Elementary School.
This work was very rewarding, and gave birth to Adopt-a-Class. The program plan was approved, and the first class of 14 volunteers began in the spring of 2017. The following year, and first full school year, 40 Villagers enrolled.
The program was such a success at Loudon Elementary School that in 2018 it was expanded to include Steekee Elementary School. In the 2019-2020 school year membership was well over 75 volunteers, the majority serving as classroom volunteers. In the spring of 2020, Vonore Elementary School became the third school to be supported with classroom volunteers and donated supplies.
In the summer of 2019, Adopt-a-Class TN successfully applied to the IRS for tax exempt status as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and registered in Tennessee. This makes donations to the group tax deductible, allows exemption from TN state sales tax, and confers eligibility for grant applications to other organizations.
In October 2021, the Adopt-a-Class TN by-laws were revised to include a Board of Directors. This group provides guidance in program management and financial activities. Each director has experience with one or more Adopt-a-Class programs and a beneficial personal background.
Teachers and staff spend many hours at school and home doing preparation work for their classes. We can help! This program is designed to assist teachers with this work. Program materials and instructions are collected at the schools, then distributed to registered volunteers. Completed projects are returned to the school. Examples include art cut-outs, worksheet collation, and assembling magnetized alphabet tiles. Although developed during the pandemic, this program is an excellent volunteer opportunity for individuals lacking mobility or concerned about the transmission of any infectious disease, and will
Most Adopt-a-Class members are classroom volunteers, serving in PreK through 5th grade in all 3 of our adopted schools. You may follow the links in the "Adopted Schools" menu above to see each school's description. You may
also follow the links below to each school's website.
This program has been temporarily suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. We anticipate that vaccinated volunteers may return to the classroom in September for the fall 2021 term.
The Adopt-a-Class donation program operates all
year, including providing back-to-school supplies. As the school year progresses, supplies need to be replenished.
Our program collects and distributes supplies to our 3
adopted schools. Monetary contributions from individuals, groups, businesses and fundraisers are used to purchase additional supplies and support school projects.
Specific Adopt-a-Class fundraising events will be posted here when scheduled.
Sponsored fundraising events help raise much needed funds.
Adopt-a-Class TN is registered as a charitable organization with Amazon Smile. This is a subsidiary website of Amazon, with the same pricing and delivery charges, and accepts Amazon Prime. Amazon Smile donates .5% of the cost of purchased items to your designated charity. You may visit https://smile.amazon.com and designate
Adopt-a-Class TN as the recipient of earned donations.
Adopt-a-Class is also registered with Benevity to facilitate employee donations by payroll deduction.