Longtime Klein ISD Educator Donates 650,000 Pop Tabs Upon Retirement
A beloved and recently retired eighth-grade teacher has found a unique way to give back to the community.
Mr. Jeff Clary, former Strack Intermediate Science teacher, donated over 650,000 pop tabs to the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). This generous pop tab donation will support the funding of many programs that are a part of RMHC.
This cause is 24 years in the making and has been an ongoing project for Mr. Clary.
As a young Science teacher, Mr. Clary was looking for a way to make his classroom “come alive” for his students. Mr. Clary was teaching a unit on atoms and felt the pop tab would be a helpful visual aid. He began collecting them with the help of his students and quickly amassed an extensive collection.
“The best thing about a pop tab is that they have no street value. So it’s easy for a student to get involved with giving back, and it doesn’t cost much,” Mr. Clary said. “Kids in the hallway, who weren’t even my students, were handing me pop tabs. I love celebrating these donations with them and fostering that connection. That’s what it’s all about.”
After obtaining many tabs, Mr. Clary wondered where he’d send them. One brainstorming session and a quick internet search later, Mr. Clary and his students discovered the pop tab donation drive for RMHC.
With an entire initiative in order, Mr. Clary began receiving pop tabs from former students, their younger siblings, and students who never even took his class. It was clear that his efforts to build relationships with every student made an impact that rippled across his school community, as everyone rallied to help him achieve his donation goal.
“The pop tabs are just one little piece in connecting with kids. I’ve always been about that, from the first day I started teaching,” Clary said. “I know science is the subject, but in the end, it was really about helping each student become better than when they walked in my room.”
Thank you, Mr. Clary, for building character in your students and fostering a “we, not me” mentality in all your learners. We hope you enjoy your well-deserved retirement.
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Klein ISD is a school district in Klein, Texas, located in northwestern Harris County. The district spans approximately 88 square miles and serves more than 53,000 students in 33 elementary schools, 10 intermediate campuses, one high school program of choice, and 5 high schools.
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