Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

November 12, 2012

Stone Elementary tops in national Avery Give Back to Schools program

By Heather Mullinix
Assistant editor

CROSSVILLE — The votes are in and Stone Elementary School in Crossville is the winner, garnering 156,598 votes in the third Avery Give Back to Schools online promotion.

This is the third year the school has received supplies or an award of Box Tops for Education through the program.

"It's the daily votes that really matter," explained Rhonda Norrod, whose children, Noah and Emma, attend Stone Elmentary. The Norrod family, with father, Joel, entered the school in the program its first year and encouraged the teachers, staff and parents to vote early and often to bring the support to the school.

The first year, Noah recounted the school placed 13th in the nation, earning it more than $10,000 in school supplies from Avery Office and Consumer Products, a global leader in office products, as well as Box Tops for Education. The Box Tops, available on Avery products as well as many food products, provide 10-cents per coupon to schools. In the three years Avery has participated in Box Tops for Education, it has helped provide $2.5 million in support to schools across the country.

In the second competition, Stone Elementary placed sixth and won 5,000 Bonus Box Tops for Education.

This year, the community put Stone Elementary over the top, earning the school $10,000 worth of Avery school supplies to be used by students, teachers and staff, 25,000 Bonus eBox Tops valued at $2,500, and $1,000 in gift cards to allow teachers to purchase additional classroom supplies.

Principal Susanne Wilson said, "Thank you for taking the time to support our community and our school. These products will go a long way to serving our needs."

Noah, who spoke at the presentation Oct. 25, said he remembered the first year when his mom told him she'd entered the school in the contest.

"I was excited," he said. "It took off from there."

The promotion ran from May 7 to Sept. 14. Teachers, families and supporters, age 18 and older, voted online for their local school.

"We recruited voters through Facebook, email, blogs and by phone and by texting," Rhonda Norrod said. "We asked them to vote for their school and also throw a vote our way, because you can vote for more than one school. And we kept asking."

Though Crossville is a small community, the Norrods were encouraged by the great success the first year and knew that it was possible to put their school at the top of the list.

"We had the address book from the first year and just kept adding to it," Rhonda explained. "Those that got on early and voted really put us over the top."