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Local schools seek votes in 'Lots2Give'
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You can help three of Newton County’s schools win up to $20,000 by voting for their video entry in the Big Lots “Lots2Give” program, or by donating money while shopping at Big Lots.

Fairview Elementary, Clements Middle School and Newton High School are the three schools competing in Big Lots annual competition this year. Participating schools in the Lots2Give program submitted a short video and brief essay explaining why their school needed financial support.

According to information from the Lots2Give program, winning schools will share $120,000 in cash prizes, which include one $20,000 grand prize, two $10,000 first place prizes, four $5,000 second place prizes and thirty $2,000 third place prizes.

Sherri Davis-Viniard, Newton County School System’s director of public relations, said that Newton County has had schools win over $2,000 in the past. Davis-Viniard said the school system enters different schools in the competition each year to give each school the opportunity to win.

Videos are posted online through July 7 for public voting, and each person can vote three times per day for a video, Davis-Viniard said.

Fairview Elementary School is seeking donations for a sensory room, which will help its students filter out bothersome sights, sounds and smells so they can focus on learning; Clements Middle is asking for funding for its science, technology and Positive Behavioral Interventions Support Program, which has helped to lower discipline referrals from 1,155 in 2012 to 531 in 2013; and Newton High School needs donations to add more technology to its classrooms for students.

The submitted videos for Fairview Elementary, Clements Middle and Newton High schools can be found by visiting the following link:

In addition to the online competition, Fairview Elementary, Clements Middle and Newton High will benefit from an in-store donation program. Customers can donate $1 or $5 to their selected school at participating Big Lots stores through July 7. One-hundred percent of the donations will go to the participating schools.