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    Kroger Central Division Boosts Local Education

    $1.4M to support school, cultural and scholarship programs

    The Kroger Co.’s Central Division is continuing a comprehensive, multiyear strategy focused on strengthening K-12 education with more than $1.4 million in grants and commitments.

    The contributions are part of a three-year strategic plan in support of K-12 education that includes thousands of hours of volunteer support and at least $3.8 million in resource commitments in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

    “Strong support of education is an important responsibility for Kroger as a dedicated corporate citizen,” said Jeff Burt, president of Kroger’s Central Division. “We are determined to have a strong, positive and measurable impact on students’ core skills. Kroger is pleased to continue evolving our commitments to education through best in class partners who continue to excel, as well as adding two new programs in 2013. We look forward to the catalytic impact of these investments in education and our own workforce of the future. Most importantly, we look forward to celebrating the academic success of children in the local communities we serve.”

    Burt called on elected officials, corporate citizens, professional educators and parents to “join the dialogue and actively take part in ensuring Indiana has the finest education system in this nation. … As adults, we must do our homework, find our voice and speak out to protect not only the economic and workforce success of future generations, but the quality of life of successive generations.”

    In addition to renewing commitments made in 2011 and 2012, Kroger has increased its K-12 education commitments for 2013.

    In 2013 Kroger’s three-year education strategy includes $517,000 in commitments to 14 best-in-class partner organizations who have exceptional education programs; $50,000 to additional organizations through the Summer Youth Program Fund (SYPF); $75,000 per year to two grant programs for local schools and libraries in support of classroom programs, teaching excellence and transformational leadership; as well as an estimated $750,000 for local schools and church preschools through the Community Rewards program and a book donation program intended to boost literacy in low-income households.

    Kroger joined the broad-based SYPF in 2011 in an effort to strengthen and reinforce the in-school aspects of Kroger’s K-12 education strategy, providing grants totaling $32,500 to 10 local organizations in 2012. SYPF has become a best-in-class model now being studied by other cities around the United States. In 2013 Kroger will increase its support of SYPF’s highly-effective collaboration to $50,000.

    New this year is support of Marian University’s Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership, with a grant of $5,000. Kroger also will leverage its broad advertising access and experience to invest at least $50,000 in a promotional campaign to raise community awareness of the critical need for an urgent, strategic focus on K-12 education. Kroger’s leadership will continue quiet, behind-the-scenes advocacy in support of education, increasingly speaking out publicly as an engaged, collaborative corporate citizen.

    The Indianapolis-based Kroger Central Division has 136 food stores, 114 pharmacies and 72 fuel centers operating under four banners; Kroger, Scott’s, Owen’s and Pay Less, with locations primarily in Indiana and Illinois, in addition to three stores in Missouri, one in Michigan and one in Ohio.

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