Pepsi satisfies a thirst for learning
Pepsi satisfies a thirst for learning
Posted on 02/06/2012
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Photo: Lionel Howell, regional sales manager of Pepsi celebrates with his winning team in Mrs. Kelly Cole's class at Model Elementary.

Pepsi is known for bringing refreshment to the thirsty, but for one Model Elementary classroom, the soft drink company also has satisfied the students thirst for learning. Kelly Cole, a teacher at Model Elementary, was looking to invigorate her children’s interest in learning by adding a SMART Board and computer to her instruction but the funds for the school to purchase the technology were not available. Mrs. Cole’s class did not let this deter them as the teacher and students decided to raise the money themselves. Local Pepsi managers found out about their project and stepped-up to help the class reach their goal. 

The class needed almost $4500 to purchase the advanced learning technology. They started raising money the first week of school with a Kiss the Pig fundraiser collecting change to make Model principal, Kyle Jones, kiss a pig. They also had a spirit night at a local restaurant and they sold movie tickets but they were still far short of their goal. Then Pepsi began partnering with the class to help raise the funds. They donated hundreds of cases of Life Water and Gatorade, which the students and teacher sold every morning before school. When the students had sold the entire donated Pepsi product, Ms. Cole sent Lionel Howell, regional sales director of Pepsi, a thank you and update on their progress. The class had been able to raise almost $3000. Mr. Howell was moved by the class's hard work and commitment to the project. He called Mrs. Cole with the good news that Pepsi was donating the remaining $1,500 needed to purchase the learning technology for the class! 

In January, the class invited Pepsi managers Lionel Howell, David Grizzle, and Michael Raven, to visit Model Elementary for a special breakfast and SMART Board demonstration. The students decorated the classroom door, made special nameplates, and helped set up for the special event. During the breakfast, each manager sat at a table of students, so they could get to know the amazing boys and girls of Mrs. Cole's class. The managers and students competed in a Battle of the Managers Jeopardy game using the SMART Board. Each manager led a team of students as they competed on a math Jeopardy game. Mr. Howell's team was crowned the grand champion!!! “The students and Pepsi managers had a great time!” Mrs. Cole said, “The class is very appreciative to the amazing support of Pepsi Bottling of Rome as Pepsi was responsible for almost $4,000 of the funds for this project through their generous product and cash donations.”