HATTIESBURG, MS - A Hattiesburg teacher got a huge surprise from a local retailer.
Janie Brown has been teaching at Rowan Elementary School for nine years. She learned that hard work and dedication does pay off.
"We do appreciate her for all of her efforts and everything that she has done for Rowan Elementary," Principal Donna Scott said.
"I'm still in shock. I'm shaking!" said Janie Brown.
It was not the ordinary day for Brown or the students she's committed to passing on the power of knowledge to everyday.
"If I miss, it has to be a really good reason," Brown said.
Because of that commitment, representatives from the mega-store showed up on Martin Luther King Drive to surprise the deserving teacher with a $490 gift card to supply her classroom..
"I was just asked by a student yesterday, 'Ms. Brown, can I get a tablet?' I said, 'Baby give me a few days to get some money, and I'll make sure you have tablets," Brown said.
Walmart learned from a study that teachers across the country spend $490 of their own money, on average, to prepare their classrooms each year.
"I spend maybe two or three hundred and then per week, I'll probably spend maybe twenty or thirty dollars because I buy other things throughout the week," Brown said.
They chipped in to help an instructor known for dedication and going the extra mile for her students.
"You don't want one child being able to do something the next child can't do especially when it's something that you can afford or that's in your reach," Brown said.
Principal Scott was proud of the recognition at Rowan Elementary School.
"It gives them the opportunity to let them know that we care about them and to know that someone appreciates their efforts," Scott said.
There were feelings of appreciation from Walmart and pride on the children's faces who Brown sees as the future.
"They're the people who will be taking care of me when I can't take care of myself," Brown said."It lets me know that they believe in their teacher, and they see the good that I do. I think it's awesome that someone else can see the good that I do."