Kroger Details Big Education Initiative

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The Kroger Co.'s Central Division in Indianapolis is planning to pump nearly $4.9 million into education efforts over the next three years. The money will support initiatives including scholarships, STEM education grants and summer programs. February 14, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Kroger Co.'s Central Division continued a comprehensive, multi-year strategy focused on strengthening K-12 education at a 10:00 AM news conference this morning at Kroger Central Division Headquarters in Indianapolis. Local officials and leaders from many K-12 education organizations joined Kroger executives for distribution of $1,581,250 in grants and commitments for 2014. The following officials shared remarks emphasizing the value of investments in education: US Congresswoman Susan Brooks, Deputy Mayor Jason Kloth, United Way of Central Indiana president & CEO Ann Murtlow and IPS superintendent Lewis Ferebee.

Today's contributions are part of a new three-year strategic plan in support of K-12 education that includes thousands of hours of volunteer support and at least $4,893,750 in resource commitments in 2014, 2015 and 2016 (excluding the value of thousands of volunteer hours), plus donated advertising. This new round of commitments follows the successful completion of a three-year K-12 education strategy that ended in January and represents an increase over the previous three-year strategy.

In addition to renewing some commitments from the 2011-2013 plan, Kroger has made new K-12 education commitments for the 2014-2016 period. In 2014 Kroger's three-year education strategy includes: $502,000 in commitments to 10 "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; up to $1 million per year for more than 460 local schools and church preschools through the "Community Rewards" program and a book donation program intended to boost literacy in low-income households. This plan draws lessons from Kroger's 131 years of support for local schools and libraries across the United States, but also reflects advice and guidance from community stakeholders. Kroger leaders have participated in more than 200 education-related meetings since 2007 as part of the company's effort to make informed decisions and investments with student-centric measurable outcomes and a high rate of return.

Kroger participates in a broad-based community coalition focused on caring for children during out of school time called the Summer Youth Program Fund (SYPF) in an effort to strengthen and reinforce the in-school aspects of Kroger's K-12 education strategy, providing grants totaling $50,000 to 10 local organizations in 2013. SYPF has become a "best-in-class" model now being studied by other cities around the United States. Kroger will continue its participation in SYPF's highly-effective collaboration in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

New this year is support of the Indiana Youth Institute's statewide training conference for guidance counsellors and school leaders, support of Conner Prairie’s education efforts and support of the IPS Education Foundation’s classroom technology program.

Kroger also will leverage its broad advertising access and experience to invest at least $50,000 in raising 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, while increasingly speaking out publicly as an engaged, collaborative corporate citizen.

Kroger Quote:

According to President of Kroger's Central Division Jeff Burt, "Strong support of education is an important responsibility for Kroger as a dedicated corporate citizen. Through today's nearly $5 million in commitments, 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 new programs in 2014. 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. We also call on our 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."

Kroger K-12 education grants and commitments for 2014-2016 include:

1. Kroger's 29-year partner school, Daniel Webster Family Academy IPS School 46 will continue to receive thousands of hours of volunteer support by associates from 18 local stores and the division office valued at more than $30,000 per year, as well as $50,000 in support for academic programs, teacher training, rewards and recognition and meeting basic needs. Kroger will continue to provide up to $20,000 in scholarships annually to School 46 students. (total investment of $100,000 per year = $300,000)

2. Significantly increased support of the Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation, bringing state-of-the-art education technology to IPS School 46 classrooms (investment of $34,000 per year = $102,000)

3. Local school and library grants up to $5,000 each in local communities that have Central Division stores. Grants support programs or activities focusing on: core math, science, reading or writing skills for students using content, methodology and processes consistent with state standards; or teachers and local school leaders who demonstrate transformational, entrepreneurial, measurable results in their schools (total investment of $75,000 per year = $225,000)

4. Scholarships for children of Kroger associates (investment of $25,000 per year = $75,000)

5. Increased support of more than 460 local schools, church-based education programs and other local education programs via the "Community Rewards" program (investment of up to $1 million per year = $3 million)

6. Support of Children’s Museum "Power of Children" grants (investment of $11,000 per year = $33,000)

7. New in 2014; support of Conner Prairie's STEM Education programs (investment of $15,000 per year = $45,000)

8. Sponsorship of the Indiana Historical Society's traveling education exhibits and related programs, including volunteer and promotional support (investment of $30,000 per year = $90,000)

9. Support of United Way of Central Indiana's "ReadUp" program (investment of $50,000 per year = $150,000)

10. Support of Project SEED to improve math skills for students and teachers (investment of $50,000 per year = $150,000)

11. Increased support of summer reading and STEM programs of the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library (investment increased to $17,500 per year = $52,500)

12. Sponsorship of the Indianapolis Marion County Spelling Bee in partnership with IUPUI and the Indianapolis Rotary Club (investment of $7,500 per year = $22,500)

13. Support of Teacher's Treasures, including cash support, free use of a store location and donated school supplies (investment of $140,000 per year = $420,000)

14. Support of Lemonade Day that includes matching charitable donations by three award-winning youth entrepreneurs and the use of Kroger store locations (investment of $7,500 per year = $22,500)

15. New in 2014; support of the Indiana Youth Institute's statewide guidance counsellor and school leadership conference (investment of $15,000 per year = $45,000)

16. Each year when the Indiana Department of Educa