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< Inside L.L.Bean

Freeport, ME, May 11, 2021

Customer Stories: Investing in the Future, ‘One Small 9-Year-Old’s Heart and Mind At A Time’

Here at L.L.Bean, we pride ourselves in being a purpose-driven outdoor retailer – to inspire and enable people to experience the restorative power of being outside. And so often, our customers are the ones who inspire us, sharing stories of their adventures in the outdoors and of how L.L.Bean has played a part in their lives. We are excited to share one customer’s story of her beloved Book Pack with you.

For more than 25 years, I have taught 4th grade students at a low-income school in an extremely rural part of Western New York. To give you a glimpse of one of the many issues that our district deals with daily, 80% of our students fall below the federal poverty line.

As everyone knows, the pandemic has put us – and all teachers and schools – in a stressful and highly responsible position. I could go on and on about what is taking place daily in our great school against all odds. We are fortunate, though, that we have in-person learning with students five days a week, while so many other districts do not. (It’s the small things!)

Over the course of the last year, my co-worker Marie and I have taken home so much work to help meet our students’ needs as best we can. We are trying to fill the gaps and reinvent the curriculum in a time when there has been no precedent to help guide us. With the extra "load" we are carting home, we needed help.

We both went to our children's closets in search of that L.L.Bean school book pack – the ones we bought for our children when they were in elementary school over 20 years ago and the ones that lasted through their high school graduations. Marie and I returned to work with our sons’ bags, ready for the year ahead.

Daily we trudge back and forth to school, always with some assistance from our children’s beloved L.L.Bean book packs. I am enclosing a few photos of Marie and me taking care of all of the materials that enable us to invest in the future, one small 9-year-old's heart and mind at a time.

I could write about all of the extra adventures these book packs went on, other than school buses and classrooms, but I’ll save that for another story.

Molly W., Fourth Grade Teacher, New York