GROVE CITY – The Hufnagel family has taken Hillview Elementary School’s “Adopt-a-Classroom” program to a new level by adopting the entire school.
“They love it and they’re so appreciative,” Principal Tammi Martin said of the teachers.
For about 15 years, businesses, families and individuals have been donating at least $100 per classroom at Hillview to help pay for additional enrichment materials such as science, reading and math supplies.
A banner outside every room shows which donor “adopted” each of the 59 classrooms. Some rooms have more than one donor.
Wreaths of Joy, a company owned by the Hufnagel family of Volant, ran a Facebook campaign asking customers to help donate to the cause.
This past Thursday, Ronni Hufnagel and her son Zack Hufnagel presented Martin and Assistant Principal Dr. Andrew Kemper a check for $5,900, which will be spread out among all of the Hillview classrooms.
It was Zack’s idea to sponsor the whole school. The 2017 graduate of Grove City High School recently visited Hillview to check out the new STEAM lab, and he noticed the banners.
He asked about the cost the adopt the school instead of just one classroom, and his parents were on board with giving back.
His father, Dr. Thomas Hufnagel, helps with Wreaths of Joy and also owns a veterinarian practice.
Wreaths of Joy sells custom wreaths and supplies, and they host online tutorials.
In 2013, Ronni had an accident at the family farm, and while she was learning to cope with trauma-induced fibromyalgia, she gave wreath-making a try to keep herself busy.
The business was founded in 2018, and the Hufnagel family sold their horses and transformed their barn to a warehouse, which Zach oversees.
“It expanded from there... And now we’re breeding ribbon,” Ronni said, laughing.
Business has picked up because of the pandemic – people are spending more time at home and looking for a new hobby, Ronni said.
Zack, 21, said he wants to inspire the young students. He remembers seeing the banners when he was a Hillview student, and he has great memories of his time at the school.
In addition to sponsoring the entire school, Wreaths of Joy has adopted the STEAM lab, which is also sponsored by Advanced Chiropractic.
“All the teachers work very hard,” Ronni said.
She is proud of her son and his idea to help the school, and she loves watching him grow.
When someone adopts a classroom, they have a chance to visit the teacher and students they’re helping, Martin said.
The Hufnagels plan to help the students make wreaths.
“It connects the kids with the community,” Martin said.
Katie Stewart, STEAM coordinator for Grove City elementary students, said she is very excited for the extra support and thankful for the donation.
Without the donations, the students may not have the additional materials or the parents might have to help cover the cost, Martin said.
The donors are invited to an assembly at the end of the school year, and the students write thank-you notes, Kemper and Martin said.
For more information about adopting a classroom, email Tammi Martin at email@example.com. For more information about Wreaths of Joy, visit “Wreaths of Joy” on Facebook or wreathsofjoyllc.com or wreathsupplyoutlet.com