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Radio Station Surprises Wyandotte Teacher, Students with Free Backpacks and Supplies

The Mojo in the Morning Backpack Blitz came to Jefferson Elementary School on Wednesday, shocking teacher Heather Sueta and her first graders with free backpacks and supplies.

Wednesday morning started like any other for teacher and her 27 first-graders.

Around 9 a.m., however, Sueta and the kids got a surprise they won’t soon forget.

Staffers from the Mojo in the Morning radio show burst into the classroom with brand new backpacks and school supplies for everyone. 

The show, broadcast on WKQI 95.5 FM, was live on the air via cell phone as station crew member Christopher “Slim” Michael told everyone in class the good news.

“We have a bunch of new backpacks for all of you,” Michael announced to the stunned teacher and cheering students.

The station was on-hand as part of its , giving away new backpacks and supplies to classrooms at 10 metropolitan Detroit schools this week. The program is being done in conjunction with the nonprofit group Operation: Kid Equip.

Menachem Kniespeck, the president, CEO and founder of Operation: Kid Equip, also was at the school to share in the joy with the students.

The organization, which Kniespeck founded about six years ago, supplies all of the goods handed out to students. Run strictly by volunteers, Kniespeck said, he found the organization to help a cause that has gone overlooked by many people.

“I was looking at the needs in the community … and there was nobody looking at kids' school supplies in a profound way,” Kniespeck said.

Teachers were picked for the Backpack Blitz promotion based on nominations submitted by listeners. A heartfelt submission from Wyandotte parent Kaitlyn Wolske, a mother of one of Sueta’s students, led to Wednesday's giveaway.

Before going into the classroom, Wolske cried as show host Shannon Murphy read her submission letter on the air, detailing some of her financial struggles as a single parent.

"I am a single mother of two kids fighting for part-time hours at work to make ends meet. My son, Jordan, is in first grade this year and his teacher, Ms. Sueta, gives so much to her students out of her own picket. But when she asked us to bring baby wipes, paper towels and tissues, I couldn’t even afford that, let alone the backpack and school supplies that Jordan needed for class. As I was lining Jordan up with his class on the first day of school, I could tell that some of his other classmates were in the same situation as we are. I know all of Michigan is struggling remarkably and I think choosing Jefferson as backpack supplies recipients will give some sunlight to the cloudy skies that hover over us."

Mojo said station staffers burst into tears reading the letter.

"You are an amazing mother, you know that," he said on air to Wolske. "I just think that Jordan is so lucky to have you as mom. And I think that Mrs. Suetta is so lucky to have parents like you that are willing to go about doing this and to try to give these kids just a chance. That’s pretty much what we want to try to do."

Wolske said she nominated Sueta based on her caring and patient demeanor as a teacher and her generosity in helping some parents pay for supplies out of her own pocket.

“I know that me being a single mom of two young kids, I just felt like this would be perfect,” Wolske said. “It was a perfect atmosphere for her to be nominated.” 

Sueta said receiving the supplies, along with the station’s visit to the room, was an excellent experience for her and the students.

“We were so excited," Sueta said afterward. “The kids are thrilled to have these supplies. They feel so special.”

Among the school supplies given out were pens, pencils, notebooks, crayons and glue.

Carol Makuch, the principal at Jefferson, said the event was something special for the entire school.

“I think it’s great for the school to have something positive,” Makuch said. “I think it’s really cool because anytime you have something positive in the school, it’s a blessing.” 

You can listen to the 5-minute radio spot on the station's website.

Brian Snoes September 15, 2011 at 04:48 AM
I know that there are plenty of teachers at Jefferson who deserve this and Ms. Sueta is no exception. My son Grant was in her class last year and my wife and I were continuously impressed by her patients and ability to control a class room full of 1st graders.
Stephanie Keffer September 15, 2011 at 08:47 PM
Last year one of the networking organizations I belonged to did a huge drive for Operation Kid Equip, so good to see that it is going to good use. Bless Ms. Sueta and all the other teachers who truly enjoy their job and care about the students.

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