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    Big Y Equips Area Schools

    Big Y World Class Markets has donated $275,482 in equipment to nearly 2,000 local schools in its New England marketing area.

    Big Y World Class Markets has donated $275,482 in equipment to nearly 2,000 local schools in its New England marketing area. The retailer’s “Education Express” helps learning institutions in Massachusetts and Connecticut procure tools and equipment they would otherwise be unable to afford.

    Local schools in Big Y’s surrounding communities have so far received 25, 000 pencils, 1,000 playground balls, 208 electric pencil sharpeners, 175 kindermats, 154 stopwatches, 94 books, 60 DVD/VCRs, 59 digital cameras, 40 classroom projectors, 14 printers, six computers and six TVs.

    “Big Y’s commitment to education in the communities we serve with programs like Education Express along with our Homework Helpline, Merit Scholarships, Educating Kids Magazines, Springfield Work Scholarship Connection and support of public TV, is our way of contributing to the development of a world class workforce for the future,” noted Big Y educational partnership administrator Michele D’Amour.

    When Big Y customers buy featured money-saving products with an Express Savings Club card after having enrolled for the school of their choice, they automatically earn merchandise points for those schools, which are then able to redeem the points for free equipment and supplies. This latest round of Education Express -- the fifth time the program has been offered -- kicked off in October 2008 and will run until January 2010.

    Since the advent of the program in 1993, Big Y has given over $11.5 million dollars in free teaching materials and classroom equipment to area schools.

    Customers can sign up for a school at any time at any Big Y register or online at www.bigy.com. They can choose any school in Big Y’s marketing area, regardless of proximity.

    Top-earning schools to date are high schools in Ludlow, Westfield and Shelburne Falls, Mass., and in Monroe and New Milford, Conn.

    Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y, one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, operates 57 stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts, with over 9,100 employees.

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