Deerbrook Mall’s 2011-2012 “My School’s Cool” competition was officially completed May 23, with several area schools receiving thousands of dollars in awards for their students’ participation. A total of $20,000 was awarded to 13 Lake Houston Area schools. The competition took place over the course of the school year, from August to May. During this time, shoppers at Deerbrook Mall could turn in receipts they received from the stores to earn points for the school of their choice. Total points were added up on May 23 and cash prizes were awarded to the highest-scoring schools. The first place prize of $10,000 went to Bear Branch Elementary School. Quest High School took the second place prize of $3,000 and Riverwood Middle School took third place and earned $1,500. The other ten participating schools (Creekwood Middle, Greentree Elementary, Kingwood Middle, Maplebrook Elementary, Northbelt Elementary, Northeast Christian Academy, Oak Forest Elementary, Pine Forest Elementary, Shadow Forest Elementary and Timbers Elementary) each took home a $500 prize. Kakie Palmer, principal of Bear Branch Elementary, said the prize money would go towards a new playground for the fourth- and fifth-grade students. “We have been very successful with our fundraising campaign for the playground, with 85 percent of parents donating as well as members of the community contributing,” she said. “This $10,000 from Deerbrook Mall is our biggest single donation by far. It’s a great boost and we love being the top point earner in the mall’s My School’s Cool program.” In addition to the $10,000, the Deerbrook Mall Barnes & Noble presented Bear Branch Elementary with two bonus packages, one for the students and one for the teachers. The students’ package was a collection of books specifically selected for summer reading, including many children’s classics. The teacher’s bag included another collection of books chosen with summer entertainment in mind, including cookbooks and gardening guides, and a pound of Starbucks coffee.

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