Kimber Bermudez’s goal in her Chicago classroom is to show her students they are capable of doing anything they want to do.
“I tell them constantly, ‘If you can read, you can do anything in the world,'” Bermudez told “Good Morning America.”
Bermudez’s devotion to her first-grade students at Carlos Fuentes Charter School went viral in July when she spoke about her students to her seatmate on a plane flight, saying it can be "heartbreaking" to teach at a low-income school.
“The man behind me tapped my shoulder,” she wrote on Facebook at the time. “I turned around and he apologized for listening into my conversation and he handed me a wad of cash. He told me to ‘do something amazing’ and sat back down.”
By the time the flight landed, Bermudez’s fellow passengers had given her $530 to help her students.
"We need donations in order to thrive at a school," Bermudez told "GMA," adding she was "blown away" by the donations. "Education is expensive. It's nice to have these books, and it's nice get to have one less thing that a parent has to buy."
"We might not have all the same resources, but we fight for them," she added.
Bermudez’s story caught the attention of people around the world.
The Kids in Need Foundation (KINF), which supplies free school supplies to students most in need, decided to help Bermudez and her school even more.
The non-profit organization surprised Bermudez Thursday with a donation of more than $300,000 worth of school supplies to her school -- Carlos Fuentes Charter School. Almost half of the students at the school have limited English skills and 87 percent classify as low-income, according to school officials.
You won't believe these teachers' creative side hustlesThis can be your summer to lean into your side hustle.
How public school teachers are crowdfunding for supplies and 'dream' school projectsDonorsChoose is helping teachers raise much-needed classroom funds.
KINF's donation will provide the elementary school with 133,000 crayons, three tons of paper, 5,000 books for classroom libraries, 33,000 pencils and more items ranging from glue sticks to craft sticks to tape and yarn.
"This is absolutely incredible," Bermudez said of the donation to her school. "I couldn’t think of a more deserving group of students."
In its 22 years of operation, KINF says it has distributed over $1 billion in supplies to kids who would otherwise go without.
"I know firsthand what it’s like not to have the supplies that you need in the classroom," said Renay Dossman, KINF's executive director, who grew up in a housing project in Chicago.
"This is our future," she said on "GMA," pointing to the students of Carlos Fuentes Charter School. "We need your help."