Students at Daniel Webster School 46 go through an assembly line for back-to-school supplies from Kroger. On the first day of school at Daniel Webster School 46 Principal Karen Linn had students come down by class to the gymnasium where volunteers from Kroger stood ready to hand out backpacks and bags full of healthy snacks like fruit, pretzels and water. The students were all smiles. Some sat right down and bit into the apples they had just been given. They were excited by the new backpacks, happy to be in new classes and meeting new friends.

But while the students were taking in how new everything was, Daniel Webster and Kroger were marking 30 years of partnership this first day of school. It’s a strong relationship that helps Daniel Webster get a positive start each year. Principal Linn explained that not only is Kroger providing the backpacks and snacks handed out here, but they have placed in each classroom “other supplies [that] will be dispersed through our teachers as school gets rolling.”

And it’s a relationship that continues throughout the year. Kroger comes back again with healthy snacks during ISTEP week and works with Shoe Carnival to outfit students with shoes and socks. Kroger works with the school to select and award scholarship funds to students, and they reward outstanding citizenship students (as chosen by the school) and those who meet school-determined attendance goals with special field trips to places like the Indianapolis Zoo. At each step of the way they partner with Principal Linn and her staff to support and encourage students and their learning.

John A. Elliott, Manager of Public Affairs, sees the relationship as a natural one for Kroger. “We’re in every neighborhood. Our employees live here.” He thinks that gives Kroger a “grass-roots awareness” of and a personal stake in the community.

It’s good to see a relationship last long-term these days, and at 30 years and going strong, the partnership of Daniel Webster School 46 and Kroger is one that shows no signs of weakening. Elliott asserted, “If something is in the way of learning, we want to move it,” and Principal Linn was thankful for a consistent partner with that helpful attitude. It gives her and her staff even more opportunities to deliver exemplary service to students, families and the IPS community.