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Coupon books on sale now

The annual school coupon book sale began with squeals and whistles as students geared up to ask family and friends for their support at the kick-off event held at Cedar Bluff Elementary School, Thursday morning, Sept. 17.

Scott Bacon, Knox County Public Affairs Office, said, “The Knox County Schools system [has launched] our 21st coupon book campaign on Sept. 17. We hope to sell 170,000 coupon books over the next two weeks, which would net us $1.5 million for classroom needs. The coupon books are still only $10 (the same price as they were back in 1989), and are filled with thousands of dollars in discounts from a variety of the Knox County business community.”

Bacon added, “The coupon book program not only provides badly needed funding for schools, but also provides a great vehicle for businesses to support schools in a way that generates traffic into their stores. Many businesses tell us this is the best promotional tool they have to reach the community. We have been impressed with the commitment of our local business partners to continue their support of the program in a challenging economy.”

Highlights for restaurant and desert coupons include Aubrey’s, Calhoun’s, Lakeside Tavern, O’Charley’s, Parkside Grill, Maggie Moo’s, Baskin Robbins and TCBY.

Coupon books are the primary way Knox County schools receive additional funding; local schools have already made plans for funds they anticipate receiving from the fundraiser.

Farragut Middle School principal Heather Karnes will spend the funds on technology primarily: installing large screen TVs, updating old computers and hoping to install “clickers” in classrooms which will help keep the school up-to-date and interactive for students during lectures and question-and-answer segments.

Farragut Intermediate School principal Kay Wellons will spend the funds on upgrading technology and providing educational materials for students.

Wellons added, “We certainly hope our students (and parents) will be motivated to ask family and friends to donate $10 for a great coupon book.” When asked about her family favorites, Wellons said, “With three grown sons (and their girlfriends), the restaurant coupons are always a family ‘favorite.’”

Cedar Bluff Elementary School principal Susan Davis plans to use the funds for instructional materials, technology and consider a new playground.

In principal Tod Evans’ newsletter, “Echo,” he says Hardin Valley Elementary School plans “to have enough to spend about $20,000 to $25,000 to update educational software and add computers and other new educational technology. The bulk of the rest will be spent on teaching materials, books for students, and teaching supplies for classrooms.”

Evans offers students, selling at least 4 coupon books, a chance to throw a water balloon at him. Anticipating success in reaching their goal, Evans will have a school celebration with birthday cake, balloons, party hats and the winners will have an opportunity to ride in a tethered hot air balloon.

Last year’s winner with the most coupon books sold, Carly Rucker from West Hills Elementary, sold 301 coupon books.

Local principals say students are encouraged to sell to family, friends and their local church. They are discouraged from selling door to door or to strangers.

Each school receives $7.50 back from the $10 school coupon book.

Coupon books are available at all Knox County schools until Friday, Oct. 2.

The student who sells the most this year will get their photo on the coupon books next year, along with two randomly selected students who sell 100 coupon books or more.

The main presenter this year is U.S. Cellular, followed by First Tennessee Bank, Party City, Stanley Steamer and hhgregg rounding out the top five contributors.


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