SALINAS, Calif. (KION) "If you could have one thing right now, would you want an art project, a science project, a board game?," asked 6th grade teacher Alyse Herrera.
In just one week, Herrera was able to grant her students that wish.
On Wednesday, her class at Natividad Elementary was given permission to drive by the school and pick up something special. Herrera put together 30 care packages to help her students get through the days stuck inside.
"The biggest challenge we face is making sure that the learning is continuing," said Herrera.
Herrera's care packages came with art supplies, books and personal letter written to each student.
"It felt kind of nice," said one student, Christian Morales, after picking up his package.
With schools closed and so much time spent in front of the screen, Herrera wanted to find a way to give her kids a break from it all.
"Everyone got a book. It's actually about a girl who keeps a journal and is stuck at home. I thought it was perfect timing," said Herrera.
Donors Choose is helping teachers continue to help their kids engage in hands-on learning, even while away from the classroom. The organization is funding projects across the country, but Herrera's class stood out.
"As teachers, we don't get a lot of money. To have them tell me, 'you can spend this on your kids,' was amazing," said Herrera.
Herrera got a $1,000 donation to surprise her students, but to her, seeing them after weeks apart was priceless.
"It is really special. I can already see that they're enjoying it so much. That warms my heart because that is my ultimate goal," said Herrera.