Pepsi paying it forward with yellow caps

It's no secret that schools continue to suffer from annual budget cuts from the state and federal government.

So, when a company like Refreshment Services Pepsi decides to fund a program that puts money back into the schools, there's not much opposition.

"I've been trying to cut back because I'm in softball, but I still drink a lot of soda," Mackenzie James, a Pittsfield High School senior said.

James is one of hundreds of Pikeland students hoping to bring more money to their schools buy purchasing Pepsi products with a yellow cap.

"We have this big bucket where I try to put all my caps in," James said.

Last year, the Pikeland School District received close to a thousand dollars from the yellow cap program and split it between its three buildings. With Jiffi Stop on their side once again, Pittsfield High School Principal Angie Greger is excited to see the benefits.

"Especially as the teachers are getting ready to plan for the next school year, and looking at materials they'd like to use, especially with our transition to the common core," Greger said.

Greger decided to put most of the money into the school's library, where all students could benefit, rather than giving to one department.

"The kids love to read here and it's also a strong part of our curriculum, because the students at the high school are required to read 8 books, in addition to the classroom novels," Carla Morrison said.

Carla Morrison says recent budget cuts from the state and federal government have made it hard to buy new books and technology.

"The Pepsi funds have made it possible to buy more books for my students. We've bought Netbook computers and to be honest, there's a waiting list on them all the time. We're a fairly high poverty district and I did a survey a couple years ago and 27 percent of my students have no computer at home, at all. And yet, every student is supposed to do a research paper that's typed," Morrison said.

It's a hope there won't be as long of a waiting list for those Netbooks next year with help from the Pepsi cap program.

"Having that money coming in is a great added bonus to be able to continue to do the things we like for our students," Greger said.

From now until April 30, you can drop off your Pepsi yellow caps at the Pittsfield Jiffi Stop or any of the schools.