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Coupon Book sale generates ‘big bucks’ for schools

The annual Knox County Schools 2004 coupon book sale topped last year’s sale by 10,500 books, netting the schools a cool $1.2 million.

The annual coupon book sale drive for Knox County Schools began Thursday, Sept. 23 and ran through Friday, Oct. 8. The coupon books feature more than 300 area merchants and cost $10. This is the 16th year Knox County has been selling coupon books as a fund-raiser in hopes of reducing the need for door to door catalog sales.

Knox County Schools officials tout that of the money collected for the books, $7.50 goes directly to the school where the book was sold and $1 goes to a fund to be distributed among economically disadvantaged schools. The remaining funds go toward the cost of printing the books and administrative costs.

Many schools have incentives for students to reach their goal, including daily drawings for cash prizes, pizza and ice cream parties and an all-school dance.

Scott Bacon, supervisor of business partnerships for Knox County Schools, said more than 161,000 books were sold countywide.

“It was a very successful year,” he said. “We sold approximately 10,500 more books than last year.” Bacon said the numbers might change, as three of the area schools had not completed their bookkeeping work yet. He said he was very pleased with the results and truly grateful.

A.L. Lotts Elementary School sold a record number 13,500 books. Principal Emily Lenn said she was overwhelmed by the success of the sales drive. She and her assistant, Mardee Miller, rewarded the children’s effort by spending the day on the roof dressed as characters from the movie “Shrek.” A.L. Lotts plans to use the money for technology needs throughout the school.

Farragut Primary School set a new record this year by selling 4,865 coupon books. Principal Julia Craze said this amount was equal to 5.3 books per child and the net amount for the school is $21,584.

“We recently received a $6,000 check from the town of Farragut and $600 from John Gilmore of Knology and this money will be used for individual classroom supplies and technology,” Craze said.

Craze added that FPS has plans to wire its two-classroom portable building for computer capability with some of the funds.

Dr. Robert Frazier, principal of Farragut Intermediate School, bargained with his students as an incentive to help them reach their sales goal. The students met their goal and sold 4,750 books and Frazier dyed his hair blue and white on Thursday, Oct. 21.

The money raised at FIS will be used to provide additional computers for the classrooms and media center, printers and video carts for communication equipment.

Farragut Middle School sold 5,303 books in this year’s sales drive. Larry Danner, the coupon book sales coordinator, said the total was approximately 400 more than last year. He said the teachers would divide $11,000 between the 44 homerooms to purchase supplies for their classrooms. Danner said the remaining $27,000 will go into a general fund along with money received from the town of Farragut and a grant from Knox County Schools. According to Danner, principal Richard Dalhaus has plans to purchase a machine to be used to grade classroom tests.

“If the students take the bubble-style tests, the teacher can put the tests into the machine and get immediate test results,” Danner said. “This would save the teachers a great deal of time and provide for a more efficient system.”

Farragut High School sold 2,600 coupon books, up 600 from last year’s amount. Brenda McGrath, who does the bookkeeping, said the money would be dispersed a little differently this year.

“Of the $7.50 that Farragut makes, the individual departments that sold the books get to keep $5 to be used in the department,” She said. According to McGrath, the math department will be using its money to further update its technology and maintain the Smart Boards.

“We would like to run our wiring through the ceiling rather than on the floor and that will take some money,” McGrath said.

The remaining $2.50 will be put into the central account and used for needs throughout the school.

According to bookkeeper Carol Carlin, Bearden High School sold 1634 coupon books. She said 11 different organizations sponsor the book drive, including the Student Government Association and the Science Olympiad Club. These organizations use the money collected to fund travel expenses incurred in competitions in which they participate.

FMS coupon book coordinator said the middle school has approximately 40 books for sale. Anyone who is interested in purchasing a book should stop by the main office at FMS during school hours. The cost of the book is $10. The coupons are valid through August of 2005.


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