Your receipts have found a home.
If you're reading this at about 9 a.m., and you hear someone grunting very loud, it may well be me. At that hour, I am scheduled to drive into the parking lot at Woodson Junior High School in Northeast Washington. From the trunk, I will extract four large cardboard boxes full of Giant and Safeway grocery receipts that have been mailed to me over the last two months by you readers.
Then, with a few mmmmmphs, I will hoist the receipts -- perhaps $1 million worth in all, and maybe more -- and present them to principal William Young and the Woodson student body. They'll take it from there, all the way to four, five, maybe as many as seven Apple computers.
That will be a very satisfying outcome to a very satisfying show of support from you members of Levey's Legions.
Last fall, I pointed out that for the second consecutive year, Giant and Safeway were offering computers (and computer accessories) to schools that collect and turn in a prescribed dollar amount of grocery receipts.
However, I noted that the inner city schools that need computers most are least likely to obtain them. Either there isn't a Giant or a Safeway nearby. Or the families of the students are relatively poor and thus spend relatively little on groceries. Or the PTA isn't strong enough to provide guidance and volunteer counting help. Or the school administration isn't solidly behind the program. Or all of the above.
So I volunteered to be the Great Receipt Repository, and the Great Searcher for a Deserving School. Just send me your pink, white and blue slips, I wrote, and I'll do the rest.
Actually, the Woodson students did the rest. By agreement with the central administration of the D.C. Public Schools, the receipts you readers sent me will go to the school whose attendance improved the most in the first reporting period of the 1990-91 academic year.
We decided to dispense the receipts this way so that neither Levey nor the school administration got caught in the trap of labeling one school more destitute or more deserving than others. Also, we wanted to give all the receipts to one school rather than spreading them among several, so the receipts would have concentrated impact.
During the June, 1990, reporting period, Woodson had the lowest average daily attendance rate among the city's public schools: 76 percent. But according to school officials, that figure shot up to 88 percent in the September-through-November reporting period. As a result, Woodson will hear my mmmmmphs this morning.
William Young tells me that the computers he obtains through Levey receipts will be placed in Woodson classrooms. The school already has a computer center, but it is equipped with 28 relatively limited and outmoded terminals.
"We want to put the new ones in the classrooms," the principal told me. "They get more impact, more bang, more use that way," both for teachers and students.
Principal Young would like to thank all you readers on behalf of all 463 Woodson students. "We are delighted, and we are honored," he said.
I second the thanks, and I stress that my mailbox is still open for further donations of receipts. We'll collect them through the end of February. As the counting and sorting proceed (it will be done almost entirely by Woodson students), I'll report on the scene and the sense of anticipation. Then I'll offer up a final report once the Apples are delivered and plugged in.
If you'd like to donate your Giant and Safeway receipts to Woodson Junior High School, please mail them to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., 20071. Please don't mail or bring them directly to the school. No number of receipts is too small or too large. Thank you very much.
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