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How Sunset Acres Elementary School Became a Top Earner in the 2016 Cash for Schools Program

Sunset Acres Elementary School in Shreveport was among the top 10 earners in the 2016 Community Cash for Schools® program, earning $2,735.

This is more than double what they’ve earned in previous years — thanks to a partnership with Springs of Grace Baptist Church, says Stacey Jamison, who was Sunset Acres’ principal. The church collected and donated most of the Community Coffee brand proofs of purchase to the school.

“We have a great partnership,” Jamison says of the school’s relationship with the church. “The church organized with us, and all the members of the church, the congregation and their families support us in whatever the endeavor is. They actively participate.”

The church put up signs, made announcements in the church bulletin and kept interest alive in collecting proofs of purchase for the school, Jamison says. “They don’t want any recognition, and they’re always there to help,” she says.

Sunset Acres Elementary serves high-risk, low-income neighborhoods, with about 400 students in grades 4 through 6. The money earned from these types of programs is used for supplies and equipment that many students wouldn’t otherwise have access to, Jamison says.

The money was allocated in May, so it will be spent during the coming academic year.

Jamison says she appreciated the way Community Coffee presented the news of the school’s earnings, with a reception held at Community Coffee’s headquarters in May.

sunsetacresimg_editThree to four students from each grade, along with the school’s king and queen, were chosen to take the four-hour trip to Baton Rouge, where they met the owners of Community Coffee and representatives from other participating schools.

“Many of the students have never left the city, so going to Baton Rouge was huge opportunity,” Jamison says. “We made it an all-around learning experience.”

They visited the state Capitol and the governor’s mansion, and had meals at IHOP and Golden Corral, offering the kids experiences they would not otherwise have had, she says. The students were then able to share their experiences with the entire school at an assembly when they returned.

“The kids were really excited,” Jamison says. “It showed them that if you work for it, you can achieve great things.”