PLATTSBURGH — Simply by stocking up on groceries, locals are helping area students get their hands on free educational materials and equipment.
Price Chopper’s annual Tools for Schools program lets shoppers earn points for a school of their choice for every dollar they spend at the grocery store.
“As long as they are shopping anyway, this doesn’t cost them anything extra,” said Sister Helen Hermann, principal of Seton Academy, which has benefited from the program for the past several years.
Participating schools can redeem the points earned on their behalf for a variety of items, including musical instruments, school uniforms, technological devices, physical-education equipment and library books.
“There’s a catalog from which they select what they would like to purchase with their points based on what their needs are,” said Mona Golub, vice president of public relations and consumer services for Price Chopper.
A total of more than $500,000 worth of materials and equipment is available to schools through the program, which kicked off in July and runs until Saturday, March 29, 2014.
“Last year, we got art materials for the Art Department,” Hermann said.
DESIGNATE A SCHOOL
Being able to acquire materials and supplies at no cost, she noted, saves schools from having to allocate funding for them in their annual budgets.
In the 16 years the grocery chain has been sponsoring the program, according to Golub, it has provided $10.5 million in assistance to participating institutions.
To begin racking up points at the checkout, Price Chopper shoppers must have an AdvantEdge Card and designate a participating school they wish to support.
This can be done at one of the stores’ Guest Services desks, at the school itself or online at pricechopper.com.
More than 75 public and private schools in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties are participating in this year’s Tools for Schools program. If the institution a shopper wishes to support is not a participant, Price Chopper recommends contacting that school’s administrators and encouraging them to take part.