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Panthers celebrate Classroom Central milestone


The Carolina Panthers joined Classroom Central on January 24 to help celebrate a significant milestone for the agency. Classroom Central announced it had reached the $50 million mark in free school supplies donated to area schools since the agency opened its doors in 2002.

Panthers director of community relations Riley Fields recognized Jessica Betts, a tenth grade English teacher at Harding University High School, in a chorus of balloons and confetti as Classroom Central's $50 million shopper.

"Classroom Central plays such a vital role in this community," Fields said. "The Carolina Panthers are proud to have been involved with the organization's work since the beginning. It is gratifying to see Classroom Central reach the $50 million milestone, but as importantly, it's hard to put a number on the confidence and self-esteem that is felt by a well-equipped school child."

Said Classroom Central Executive Director Karen Calder: "We are thrilled to hit this major milestone of distributing $50 million of free school supplies to students in need in the greater Charlotte community. Not only does it mean that students are more prepared for their academic work, it boosts the morale of teachers to know their community cares."

The Panthers provided a $200,000 commitment in seed funding in 2002, which helped launch Classroom Central in October of that year. Today, Classroom Central continues its important mission of equipping students living in poverty by collecting and distributing free school supplies. Classroom Central has grown to support six school districts and 100,000 students in need per year.

For more information on Classroom Central, please visit

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