Fifth-graders sell shirts to pay graduation costs Class of 2000 invests proceeds


Carroll's fifth-grade students are investing in silver and teal for their senior years.

The children are buying teal blue T-shirts with "Class of 2000" printed in silver logos. Seven years from now, profits from the sales will help offset graduation expenses.

A Liberty High School teacher, whose daughter is in fifth grade at Friendship Valley, is organizing the effort.

"Seniors have so much fund raising to do for all their activities, I thought why not get a head start," said Kathy Schnorr. "We will sell now and bank the dollars for later and it will help instill in the students a sense of working toward a major goal in their education -- graduation in the year 2000."

Ms. Schnorr heads an organizing committee that includes a financial adviser to help members select a sound investment, she said.

Shirts cost $7. Profits -- about $2.50 on each shirt -- will go into the "investment fund," under the name of Class of 2000 Fundraiser, she said.

To keep the cost of the shirts low, the committee is asking county businesses and service organizations for contributions to the fund.

"I got the idea for this when my daughter Karlye was in kindergarten," said Ms. Schnorr.

With Karlye about to "graduate" to middle school, her mother has decided to launch the T-shirt campaign.

Her own students at Liberty worked on several designs for the logo, before the committee and elementary students selected an original drawing by Joe Hollingsworth, an artist for the New Spider Web. The custom screen-printing business in Westminster will manufacture the shirts.

Mr. Hollingsworth drew a large "2" topped with a star, followed by "Class of" over three zeros.

The logo is valid for the next seven years and reprinting is no problem, she said. Sample shirts and order forms are available from PTA committees at all county elementary schools.

"Schools can start selling right away," she said. "Turnaround will be about a week, and the community should be seeing the shirts everywhere."

While the children are wearing out their shirts, their investment fund will grow.

"In the year 2000, we will divide the money among the five county high schools," said Ms. Schnorr.

Students can use the money for class trips and dinners or caps and gowns.

"We don't want the fund used for prom expenses," she said. "Everyone doesn't go to the prom and we want the money for everyone."

Contacts at each school report that preliminary sales are brisk, she said.

"In fact, some parents want their own 'Parents of the Class of 2000' shirts," she said. "If they get the orders, we'll take care of the printing."

The project involved much groundwork, she said, but now that it is established, it should involve minimal work for the PTAs.

"If this goes well, we may do it from here on out for every fifth grade," she said.

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