It pays to save. It is a lesson we learn when we are very young.
For students in the Sedalia School District 200 it is a lesson they have not only been taught but it is one that they have seen the rewards from first hand at school.
Since the start of the partnership with the Major Saver Program in 2001, students selling the Major Saver Cards have raised more than $375,000 in the district.
The funds generated from the sale of the cards is given back to the participating schools, typically the elementary students and the middle school students, by the Sedalia School District Foundation who splits the funds with the buildings who participate in the program.
This year students in the junior high will also help to sell the cards.
“All of the money we make from the proceeds of the cards ultimately is returned to the district by the mini grants that we award to district staff members,” Diedre Esquivel Foundation president said. “Those grants are given to district employees who apply for them for use in their programs.
“We’ve really done some neat things in the past from grants for the autistic program to microscopes, greenhouses, literary sets, computers and even worm farms for use in some science classrooms,” Esquivel added. “The staff members have to show the need for the funding and then the foundation committee awards the grants based on those needs.”
The building principals typically determine how the funds they receive are spent.
“In the past two years, our Major Saver Funds have been put into a fund to purchase playground equipment,” Skyline Principal Kelly McFatrich wrote in an email. “I am happy to say that we just installed the new equipment a couple of weeks ago.”
Mcfatrich added that this year’s funds would be used to fund class field trips.
At Horace Mann, the funds are used to provide incentives for the students as part of their positive behavior strategies program.
“The Major Saver Funds help buy items for our PBS Tigers R Us store as well as assist in providing our Blowout Behavior Bash incentive parties,” Principal Todd Fraley wrote. “We also use a portion of the funds to purchase items for the end of the year drawings for students.”
The Middle School tends to use their funds for technology for classroom instruction including the purchase of interactive boards and document cameras among other items according to SMS Principal Sara Pannier.
This year’s program begins on April 25 and the cards are similar in their format to previous years.
Twenty area vendors have provided discounts or special promotions, which are redeemed when the cardholder presents the Major Saver card at the respective locations.
“This year we added the “ruler” at the top of the card,” Paula Schuppe of the Foundation said. “It is a one-time use at Bing’s East or West that entitles the card holder to $5 off a purchase of $50 or more at either store.”
“We also have two multiple use key cards that can be used at Bryant Motors or Jiffy Lube,” Schuppe added. “When you add up all of the savings on the card they pay for themselves in a very short time.”
Both Esquivel and Schuppe said the cards appeal to both families and students because many of the offers are from restaurants in Sedalia.
Major Saver cards can be purchased via cash, check or online at www.majorsaver.com.
All cards purchased online will be mailed directly to the customer and Major Saver cards can also be purchased, and credited to a student, through the Major Saver App.
“Once the free app is downloaded to an Android or iOS device, buyers can choose through the app to purchase a physical Major Saver card that will be mailed to them or purchase a digital card,” Schuppe explained. “Once the buyer completes the transaction for the digital card the offers will be stored in the Major Saver App. then the buyers can redeem offers directly from the app and do not need a physical card.”
“The nice thing is if the buy the cards on-line they can give the credit back to Sedalia 200 for the sale,” Schuppe added. “The company really does work to support the schools.”
Esquivel added that representatives from Major Saver participate in the Foundations annual golf tournament year year which also adds funds to the Foundation.
“The company also provides two $500 scholarships for seniors in the district,” Esquivel said. “That isn’t money from our profits it is just something they do to benefit our students.”
One other thing that the Foundation feels is important is that Major Saver stresses safe selling and discourages door to door sales.
“The company encourages students to sell to family members, church patrons, neighbors, other adults the family may know; and to always make sure their parents are involved,” Schuppe said. “They also have some special incentives that are given to students based on the number of cards they sell.
“Each year the Foundation typically receives $25,000 per year from the cards sales which is money that benefits the entire district,” she added
Major Saver card s will be on sale beginning April 25 through May 2.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484