Pop machine proceeds used to benefit students

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There has been much national publicity about whether or not pop machines should be located at schools due to the rising obesity rate of children.

At Sibley East Public Schools, the pop machine funds are used to benefit and reward students, according to Junior High Principal Steve Harter and Senior High Principal Jim Swanson.

The profit from the pop machines at Sibley East Junior High School, through mid May, was $1,382.50, and the profit from the Hermel vending machine, which offers snacks, was $1,428.75, according to Harter.

There are two pop machines located outside of the Junior High school. There is also a pop machine in the teachers’ lounge. According to Harter, the pop machines outside of the school are only available after school, while the Hermel vending machines, which offer meat snacks, granola bars, baked chips, flavored water and juice, are open for 15 minutes during each Junior High lunch period.

At Sibley East Junior High, the pop machine proceeds are used to offset student incentive trips to Mount Kato and Valleyfair, juice and rolls for Wolverines of the Month, treats for Honor Roll students, and dinners for Principal’s Honor Roll students. In order to participate in the student incentive trips, students must pass all classes and have no discipline referrals, Harter explained. Last year, when students went to Valleyfair, they only had to pay $11 each, he said.

At Sibley East Senior High School, the pop machines have raised about $1,000 for student programs and rewards, according to Swanson. “We spend most of what we take in,” Swanson said. “We paid out sales tax to the state in the amount of about $650, based on the gross sales. Gov. Pawlenty started this two years ago. Before that we had more money to spend on activities because we didn’t pay sales tax at school.”

Sibley East High School sells pop for 15 cents more than it pays for it. “The tax takes 6.5% of that, leaving us little for programs,” Swanson said.

Money from the Senior High pop machines was used to pay state and national National Honor Society dues, state student council dues, entry fee for the High Mileage Car Project at Brainerd, perfect attendance pizza party each quarter for students, awards/pins/certificates for National Honor Society inductees, Awards Night materials, Power Team Lyceum expenses, lunches and fees for Career Day speakers, podium for lyceums and programs in the gymnasium, speaker fees for guests in teacher classrooms, new cover for awards, graduation and National Honor Society table, ice cream treats for students for doing well on state exams, fees for students attending the yearbook workshop, and purchase of an ice cream shake machine for future fundraisers.

Sibley East has an exclusive contract with Pepsi through 2013. Through this program, the district received a football scoreboard, two softball scoreboards, and protective mats in the school gyms.

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