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Brookside Wins $500 Thank You

Susan Beniston, Brookside PTO treasurer, called TheDailyNorwalk.com "the good news newspaper" as she accepted a $500 Thank You prize. John Falcone, president of Main Street Connect, publisher of this and nine other Internet news sites in lower Fairfield County, presented the check to Beniston, Audra Good, PTO co-president, and principal David Hay on Monday morning. Falcone explained to the group that the parents of school-aged children are the company's target audience. "We want to give back and help out our schools," he said.

Brookside won the Thank You prize in Main Street Connect's Better Schools Bonanza promotion after it got at least 100 people to register on TheDailyNorwalk.com. Over the last few days, Brookside has come from behind to become a top vote-getter. The promotion will culminate with a $10,000 first prize and $5,000 second prize to the two schools that get the most votes.

Beniston, who has been in charge of promoting the contest, says that translating the Better Schools Bonanza flyers and e-mails into Spanish has been instrumental in getting the school community to log in and vote. "We've been explaining the contest in both English and Spanish to our parents," she says, noting that 55 percent of Brookside students come from Spanish-speaking households.

Good and Prinicipal Hay have already discussed possible uses for the big prizes. "We'll use it to buy more SMARTboards and put on our second annual musical," said Good. Last year's show, "Beauty and the Beast," was a smashing success. This year the school is planning "Seussical, the Musical."

Brookside became the fifth school to receive a Thank You prize. Jefferson Science Magnet , Columbus Magnet and Naramake Elementary Schools in Norwalk and Miller-Driscoll School in Wilton have already received checks. You can continue to register and vote for your favorite school until the deadline at 11:59 p.m. Nov. 15.

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