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Colton-Pierrepont receives $1,000 grant from Walmart

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COLTON – As teachers sat in the cafeteria eating their breakfasts Wednesday morning at Colton-Pierrepont Central School, they were expecting a day filled with meetings and staff development. What they were not expecting was the announcement of a $1,000 grant awarded to the school by Walmart store in Potsdam.

“We’ve got a 50 percent poverty rate and have many kids who simply cannot afford the supplies they need,” Colton-Pierrepont Central School Superintendent Joseph A. Kardash said.

The grant came in the form of 20 $50 gift cards.

“We’re going to distribute them as evenly as possible,” Mr. Kardash said. “We’re giving them out by department as opposed to giving them to individual teachers, so we did grade levels in the elementary, subject areas in the high school and specials.”

Store Manager Chad Bogacz presented the gift cards to Mr. Kardash before joining the faculty for a group photo outside the school.

“We are proud to honor our community’s teachers, who give time and often their own money to ensure our students have everything they need to be successful throughout the school year,” Mr. Bogacz said. “At Walmart we are dedicated to supporting our nation’s teachers by providing them with the support and resources need to continue education the future leaders of our country.”

Mr. Bogacz explained that each year every Walmart store in the nation selects a school from their area for the $1,000 grant.

“In its fourth year, Teacher Rewards will donate up to $4.5 million to provide 90,000 teachers across the United States with reward cards that will help offset the cost of classroom expenses,” he said.

In Potsdam, Mr. Bogacz said store employees “voted overwhelmingly” to award this year’s grant to Colton-Pierrepont Central School. “It’s a small school that could really benefit from the help,” Mr. Bogacz said. “That’s kind of what we were shooting for.”

Mr. Bogacz said he has three children enrolled at Colton-Pierrepont, but he made it clear that had no impact on the vote.

“I had nothing to do with the voting,” he said, adding his children are looking forward to returning to school.

“My kids are excited, and my wife and I are excited too,” he joked.

Mr. Kardash called the announcement a great surprise and a good way to start the school year.

“I thought it was great,” he said when asked of what he thought of the award. “It’s perfect timing. This is a great way to start off the year and help our teachers get off on the right foot.

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