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Charlotte Area

Tiny Charlotte School Could Win Big Donation

http://66.225.205.104/LM20100902.mp3

Charlotte Jewish Day School is in a tight race for a $500,000 contribution from the department store Kohl's. Kohl's doesn't pick the schools. Instead, it lets Facebook users vote for the schools they think deserve the donations. So it's a popularity contest among just about every school in the country. The twenty schools with the most votes as of tomorrow night will get $500,000 each. As of late this afternoon, tiny Charlotte Jewish Day School is at number 10. So how's an elementary school with only 111 students, doing so well? "This morning at 7 o'clock there were crews and crews of volunteers who were all going out with carts of laptops," says the school's director Mariashi Groner. Volunteers have set up tables at Jewish community events, South Park mall and on several college campuses. They even had some luck at Davidson College, a Presbyterian school. The lure of a free raffle ticket for an I-Pad hasn't hurt votes either. Several weeks ago when Groner heard about the contest through her daughter-in-law, she thought just maybe the school had a chance. "Had it been only the top school, I probably would've realized it was too long of a shot for us," says Groner. "But when I saw it was the top 20 I thought, 'Our school's small and in these economic times fundraising has not been that easy. How wonderful it would be to be able to provide educational opportunities that go beyond the typical funding?'" Groner would like to use the money to improve the school's technology and allow its classrooms to link up with other schools across the world. Charlotte Jewish Day School is one of twelve Jewish schools in the top 20 and it's the only school in North Carolina to make the list.