YELL calls out for more sponsors

Thursday, September 13, 2001

Students in 96 classrooms from Perryville all the way to Benton receive copies of the Southeast Missourian in their classrooms each week thanks to the YELL foundation and several local sponsors.

But the YELL foundation, a non-profit organization that stands for Youth Education Literacy and Learning, is having trouble covering the cost of the papers this year. Prior to this year, money raised for the newspapers was generated from YELL Day when volunteers would take to the streets to sell newspapers in the name of literacy.

YELL is an extension of the Newspapers in Education program administered by the Area Wide United Way and the Southeast Missourian. YELL Day generated between $28,000 and $35,000 each year. About $100,000 of the total amount over the years has gone toward literacy grants to schools.

After a 10-year run, YELL Day was discontinued this year following a lack of enthusiasm for the day forced organizers to look at other options for raising the money.

In May, Jefferson Elementary School teacher Janice Friedrich started selling sponsorships to local individuals and businesses, hoping to be able to sell enough to cover the cost of the papers. Now, four months later, she has sold 81 of the needed 96 sponsorships.

Friedrich's enthusiasm and commitment to the program is great, said Mark Kneer, circulation director for the Southeast Missourian. It's fresh, exciting and keeps students involved with real life lessons.

The foundation is still looking for the remaining 15 sponsors, Kneer said, but in the meantime all 96 classrooms are receiving the papers.

"We know that the community will back this program," he said, adding that he is confident they will find the remaining needed sponsors.

Any individual or business interested in sponsoring a classroom may contact Kneer at the Southeast Missourian.

335-6611 extension¹ 128

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