Actress Kristen Bell is using the power of her nearly 11 million Instagram followers to help teachers get supplies for their classrooms.
Veronica Landa, a middle school Spanish teacher in Long Island, New York, was featured by Bell last month.
- 2April 19, 2019
"I was speechless," Landa told "Good Morning America." "I've always had an Amazon Wish List with the things I wanted for my students but never did I believe this would happen."
Landa, a teacher for the past six years, said she emailed Bell in April at the email address the actress shared in a call out to teachers.
She wrote to Bell about her dreams for her sixth and seventh grade students in her Title 1 school and the supplies she would need to help make the dreams come true.
"This opportunity would help me incorporate books to expand my Spanish library and enhance students' reading comprehension skills," she wrote. "My students will also be able to improve their speaking and writing skills and knowledge of the Hispanic culture."
Within days of Landa's request being posted on Bell's Instagram page, the teacher's Amazon wish list was nearly filled.
"People were able to send a note with each thing they bought and I was just sitting there crying, overwhelmed with what people were saying," Landa recalled. "There was even a girl who is 16 and took her own money and bought me a book."
"She said she wants to become a music teacher and the fact that a 16-year-old was supporting me, it put me in tears," she said.
Landa, who teaches more than 100 students, had previously used a pen and paper to track students' data but now has a laptop to use thanks to strangers who saw her plea on Bell's Instagram.
"I'm really happy because it'll really benefit my students and that's my number one goal," she said. "I can change my entire curriculum and implement the books and everything else I've received."
Bell, a mother of two, began to highlight teachers last September in a series she called #10featuredteachers. She then began featuring a different teacher every Friday.
Her most recent post, featuring a fourth grade teacher from Texas, received more than 40,000 likes and dozens of comments.
"Lanie's wishlist will be in my bio. Oh, and I love you guys," Bell wrote in the caption.