Earn and Learn: awarding local educators

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By Kirsten Laskey

Boyd Moffett, manager of Smith’s Food and Drug in White Rock, has seen the benefits of education, as a former student himself and as parent who sends his children to local schools.

“School has such an important part in our children’s future, our nature’s future, all our futures,” he said.

Moffett, along with Debbie Bell, human resource manager of the Smith’s in Los Alamos, Kim Waldschmidt, human resource manager of the Smith’s in White Rock, and John Roberts, manager of the Smith’s in Los Alamos, recognized the importance of learning by awarding Earn and Learn checks on Wednesday to the schools and other agencies that provide learning opportunities to the community at Aspen Elementary School.

Earn and Learn is a program that the local grocery stores have run for the past eight to 10 years.

The way the program works is a percentage of each sale goes to a school or organization of the consumer’s choice. The participating school or organization has a specific barcode, which shoppers can have attached to their Smith’s Rewards card.

The card gets scanned and the money gets directed to that agency.

This year, a total of $76,667.49 was raised through the program.

Roberts credits the customers for the program’s success.

“It must be the local customers participation because that is what drives the money,” he said.

“I think the schools have recognized the importance of it, too,” Moffett added.

This year the recipients of Earn and Learn checks were presented to each of the schools in the Los Alamos Public School District, as well as Little Forest Play School, Los Alamos Band Booster, Hope Pregnancy Center, Family Strengths Network, Caoncito, Dance Arts Los Alamos, The Ark Child Development Center, 4-H and the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation.

“One of the things that touches my heart is the partnership and connection between businesses and schools that exist in Los Alamos,” Kate Thomas, interim supervisor, said. “(We) support each other. This is an example of the best that can be done when the community and businesses partner. And it is not just the schools, it’s community groups, too, community groups equally supported by businesses.”

Thomas added that while many corporations are huge and impersonal, Smith’s values community involvement.

In addition to the Earn and Learn checks, both Smith’s branches presented a $3,048 check to the Friends of the Shelter.