Greer’s Apples for the Students Company: Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. Program category: Youth Development Programs Origins: The Greer’s team vision is “To bring added joy, well-being, and value to people’s lives!” The Apples for the Students Program enables them to not only bring joy to the students and teachers receiving supplies and equipment, but to put the “well-being and value” portions of their vision into action in each and every community they serve. Greer’s began their partnership with Apples for the Students in 2008. The program runs in all 29 Greer's locations throughout three states (Alabama, Mississippi and Florida), starting in September and running through March every school year. The participating schools register with Greer's each year. The stores and schools receive program kits to get started. Greer's and the schools display provided signage to promote Apples for the Students. Parents and community members are asked to submit their receipts to the school they wish to support. Receipts are gathered and submitted for points to redeem educational supplies. One dollar spent in a Greer's store is worth one point to a school. At the end of the program, Apples for the Students totals the receipts submitted by every school and sends them points to redeem the educational supplies that will benefit their school the most. Greer's then pays 1% of total receipts submitted by all the schools that registered. Now in its 10th year, Greer’s Apples for the Students is a staple at Greer’s stores and in their local communities. Greer’s, local schools and an incredibly supportive community work together to make this program a success. Contribution: Company Contribution: Donated $60,650 toward school supplies/equipment. Greer's and their family of associates believe in and promote the program daily. Coordinate with schools PTO's. Produced television/radio ads about the program. Award outstanding performances by schools or teachers. Provide Apples for the Students backpack as a prize for monthly coloring contest for at least one month during the school year to promote the program. In the last 9 years Greer's has supplied close to $700,000 in free educational supplies. Offer bonus opportunities to schools to receive bonus credits Community Participation: 58 local schools registered with Greer's 6,665,000 worth of receipts were submitted by the communities and schools in 2018-19 Schools compete in contest facilitated by Greer's Objectives: The main objective of Apples for the Students is to provide equipment and educational supplies to schools at no cost to them. The leadership at Greer's is always trying to find the best ways to support the community that supports them. Greer's understands the importance of education, and that it’s also important that students and schools have the necessary supplies to facilitate learning. Education budgets are always being cut and the people left with the bill are teachers and administrators. So, together Greer's and Apples for the Students are trying to bridge that gap in schools budgets and provide teachers and students with whatever they need to be successful in the classroom. Impact: The impact of this program can be seen in any of the 58 schools that have received free educational equipment because of Greer's. In the past 10 years Greer's has provided almost $700,000 worth of supplies to local schools. This past school year alone Greer's donated $60,650 towards school equipment. This includes is everything from printers to pencils to soccer balls. The fact that the program has ran for 10 years consecutively is a good indication of its success and impact in the community. Apples for the Students is supported year after year because the community sees the positive effect it has on their local schools. The schools receive tangible items and Apples for the Students provides a program breakdown that shows exactly what Greer's provided to every school. It's a great way to showcase its success and let the community know what they helped provide the schools. Quote: “The Greer family and our family of associates are all proud to be a part of the Apples for the Students program,” says Jackie Greer, President. “Providing free educational equipment and supplies to participating schools in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida through this program is a significant part of Greer’s community involvement. We value the importance of a quality education for everyone in a community. We are concerned when we hear about continued budget cuts to education, extra-curricular programs being eliminated, and teachers purchasing even more supplies out of their own pockets. Additionally, fundraising continues to decline due to the economy. We value the Apples for the Students program not only for the ability it gives us to support our local schools, but that it also involves the local community in the fund-raising efforts.