As the weeks of the Massachusetts stay-at-home advisory piled up, it became more and more apparent that schools were not going to be finishing up the school year. This meant that teachers and school administrators alike were going to have to get creative and do things they've never done before.

In New Bedford, Superintendent Thomas Anderson knew that his schools and staff were going to have to go through what he calls "transformative work" and make some major adjustments to have remote learning be successful. Teachers were going to be pushed beyond their comfort levels and asked to do things that they have never done before.

The additional time and effort spent to make virtual classrooms engaging was both a burden and an opportunity to “rethink what our teachers do” to make a difference in students’ lives, Anderson said.

Anderson decided to try to make it fun, reaching out to Domino's last week to ask about whether the school department could get a discounted price by purchasing gift cards in bulk. He was pleasantly surprised by the answer.

After hearing of the efforts of individual teachers to provide exceptional virtual classes to city students sidelined by COVID-19 school closures, Domino’s franchisees Nelson Hockert-Lotz and Tony Squizzero wouldn’t hear of taking money.

“Teachers are our heroes,” said local Nelson Hockert-Lotz, owner of Domino’s pizzerias at 109 Rockdale Avenue and 821 Rockdale Avenue.

“Our hats are off to them for their passion and creativity in taking classroom education to a virtual space in a challenging time,” added 836 Ashley Boulevard Domino’s owner Tony Squizzero.

Domino’s donation came in gift certificate form to maintain social distancing among educators.

The pizza donation is part of a national Domino’s program to “Feed the Need,” giving away 10,000,000 slices of pizza to local heroes making a difference in their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

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