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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Henry Elementary receives $10,000 in school supplies
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Part of the $10,000 in Avery school supplies were stacked in boxes in front of the stage.

Monday, October 31, 2011

By JOEL TURNER - Staff Writer

Henry Elementary, one of the smallest schools in Franklin County that ranked as one of the top five schools in the nation in a recent online promotion, received its reward Wednesday.

Avery Office and Consumer Products presented school officials with $10,000 of Avery school supplies, 10,000 Box Tops for Education Coupons (a $1,000 value), and $1,000 in gift cards for teachers to purchase additional school supplies.

That was the prize for Henry for placing among the top five schools in the Avery Give Back to Schools competition, involving thousands of schools nationwide.

Henry Elementary received more than 44,000 online votes to rank in first place among the top five grand-prize winning schools in the nation.

"To be the top school in the entire nation is a true testament to our students, parents, staff and local PTO and I thank them for their relentless efforts," said Principal Robin Whitmer at a school assembly.

"I also want to thank Avery for this wonderful opportunity they have provided our school and for the great awards they have gifted to out students," she added.

The school gymnasium was filled with students, parents, teachers, school administrators, school board members and Del. Charles Poindexter.

Jeff deLeon, marketing director for Avery, presented the prizes to Whitmer and Sabrina Greco, a parent who entered Henry Elementary in the contest.

The students waved small Avery flags during the assembly.

Part of the $10,000 in Avery school supplies were stacked in boxes in front of the stage.

Henry, which has about 200 students, competed with many elementary schools that had more than 1,000 students. More than 16,000 schools nationwide competed in the online voting.

The national contest required people to go online daily and vote for their school from June 15 to Sept. 16.

Greco, a former student whose daughter now attends Henry, entered the school in the contest. She said that the voting campaign began in June, and as soon as Henry Elementary made it to one of the top 5 positions, it never left.

Greco, who is the Box Tops coordinator for Henry Elementary, thanked everyone for helping the school become a winner.

"We felt the support of the students, staff, parents, friends, family, acquaintances, customers, business owners, sheriff and police departments and even a member of the House of Delegates (Poindexter) who would support us in the effort to get this little school to the top of the nation for a moment in the spotlight," Greco said.

"This small, little school, the school that my sisters, brother and I attended, my two nephews attended, and where my daughter and nieces are now attending, this small little school is going to get some attention," she said.

"We would love the opportunity to thank all the community for their help in voting every day since June to make Henry Elementary School number one in the nation," Greco said.

School officials said that the supplies would last several years. The supplies will help the students at a time when many families are struggling economically because of layoffs and plant closings in the region.

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