While flipping through the local section of The Press this week, you may have noticed a huge silent auction has broken out.
In support of the Newspapers in Education (NIE) program, community merchants have offered up their goods and services for bidding.
According to Press Circulation Manager Bill Bollinger, the nationwide initiative helps students in grades K-12 reach their academic potential.
“The National Newspapers Association found that children who read the newspaper perform better in school, and that’s really at the heart of this program,” Bollinger said.
The Press provides more than 200,000 newspaper copies to 58 schools across Kootenai County each year.
To offset the production costs, the newspaper partners with local businesses for the silent auction.
Bollinger commended the businesses for making a positive impact in the community.
“These folks step forward to offer their goods and services because they understand what this means to students, and to teachers,” he said.
This year marks the 16th annual NIE silent auction in The Press. Bollinger said the value of the 85 items available for bidding surpasses $9,000.
“This is one of our best years yet,” he added.
Bollinger said the program — which began decades ago — serves multiple purposes in that it helps not only schools but also the newspaper industry.
“It helps the industry because these children become readers,” he said, “and it helps schools because children perform better and teachers can work it into their curriculum.”
For those wanting to support NIE but not bid on any items, Bollinger said subscribers can donate their “vacation” newspapers to the NIE program.
In other words, when you go on a tropical trip for 10 days, those 10 newspapers go to a classroom instead of your driveway or a recycling center.
If you’re interested in bidding on one or more items, consult the double-page advertisement inside the Local section for offers. Then, call 208-664-0220 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. through this Saturday to place your bid.
Each day, The Press will publish the new highest bids on each item, so be sure to check back often.
Winning bidders will notified on Monday, and all winners will be published in Tuesday’s edition of The Press.