SpendforED - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco


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WSVN -- This fourth grade class at Coconut Grove Elementary has a new hi-tech toy: an interactive white board.

Dr. Sharon M. Lopez, principal, Coconut Grove Elementary: "It's given us an edge on teaching and learning, which is something that we're always looking for."

But at $3,000, it's not something the school could afford... until they found out about a group called SpendforED.

Erik Sussman, SpendforED: "We created a concept called Ed Bucks, and this is like a currency. It's a unique currency."

It costs $10 to buy a book of $60 ed bucks. Half of that $10 is donated directly to your school. Shoppers use the ed bucks at participating businesses like Milam's Markets. Use Ed Bucks at checkout and get a dollar off every $10 dollars spent.

Erik Sussman: "A year later, we've got over 200 locations that are now accepting Ed Bucks just as if it was real United States currency."

With Ed Bucks, consumers save money on purchases, local businesses get more customers and schools get money for programs and equipment.

Mia Sorensen, parent: "The more parents find out about the SpendforED and the Ed Bucks, the more they purchase, and the more money we can make from it."

Right now, Milam's is selling Ed Bucks in all four of their stores, hoping to raise money for more interactive boards.

Allen Milam, owner, Milam's: "These communities are supporting us, so we want to support them."

In just one year, Ed Bucks has raised more than $100,000 for 70 Miami-Dade Schools.

They hope it's just the beginning.

Erik Sussman: "In five years, I see us creating an alternative source of funding for education ... I believe millions of dollars can be raised from it."

If you have any money questions or story ideas you'd like us to look into on "Money Monday," e-mail us at moneymonday@wsvn.com.



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