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Posted October 22, 2012

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Smith’s Donates $74,000 to 90 APS Schools, Programs

7-Bar Elementary School gets $6,400 for a shade structure for its special needs playground.

Watch a slideshow from the donation celebration at 7-Bar Elementary School.

Smith's Food & Drug presented APS Superintendent Winston Brooks with a check for $74,000 this week, the proceeds from this year's Earn & Learn Program where shoppers designate a school or program to earn money every time they shop at Smith’s.

The generous donation benefitting 90 APS schools and programs was celebrated at 7-Bar Elementary School on Monday, Oct. 22, where hundreds of students cheered on Smith's representatives Marsha Gilford, vice president of public affairs, and Ryan Peacock, district manager.

7-Bar Elementary received $6,370.66 from the program, which will be used to install a shade structure over a playground for children with special needs. The playground is named for Emma Jackson, a 7-Bar student in the Intensive Support Program who passed away in 2008.

Others in attendance at Monday's celebration included 7-Bar Principal Nancy Lacher, APS Education Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus, Associate Superintendent Diane Kerschen and Becky and Bill Jackson, parents of Emma.

Schools across APS also will be receiving checks from Smith's, some for a few hundred dollars and some for thousands. La Cueva High’s Marine JROTC was the biggest APS earner through the Earn and Learn Program, raising $11,704.87. Other APS schools and programs that earned a large amount of money include Valley High’s JROTC program, which earned $8,618.22; North Star Elementary, which earned $3,649.09; Desert Ridge Middle School, which earned $3,050.63; and Hubert Humphrey Elementary, which earned $2,175.06.

7-Bar has received more than $23,000 from Smith’s since the school first enrolled in the Earn & Learn Program in 2008.

In New Mexico, 296 public and private K-12 schools are receiving a portion of $238,527 from the program.

The donations are unrestricted and schools may select the most appropriate use of the gift. Schools have used the funds to support reading programs, build walking tracks, purchase computers and audiovisual equipment and fund basic instructional needs.

To enroll in the Earn & Learn program, parents of students present a letter from their school with a bar code that links the person’s rewards card to the school. They may also enroll online. Each time the rewards card is used for a purchase at Smith’s, the school earns money.

Enrollment in the program must occur at the beginning of each academic year. Eligible schools must be a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit, state-accredited, K-12 school located within Smith’s operating areas in New Mexico. For more information, call 1-800-444-8081, ext 1672.

Smith’s is a division of the Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), one of the nation’s largest retail grocers. Smith’s manages 133 stores throughout seven western states, including 26 stores in New Mexico. Smith’s charitable giving, in partnership with 15,600 associates, generous customers and suppliers, totaled $9.5 million in cash and food products to local organizations in 2011.

For more information visit Smith's website or Facebook page.

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