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Base Exchange offers valuable learning experience for good students

DALLAS -- According to the Department of Defense, children of active-duty military personnel attend, on average, six to nine different school systems from kindergarten to the twelfth grade.

As a military command with the motto "we go where you go," the Army and Air Force Exchange Service is, understandably, attuned to the unique challenges military children face in their educational pursuits.

Beyond being a destination for school supplies and clothes, Base Exchanges even offer an array of free and discounted products to students who excel in the classroom through its "You Made the Grade" program.

Now in its ninth year, AAFES' education rewards initiative is anchored by a booklet chocked full of complimentary offers for students in grades first through twelfth who maintain a "B" average or better.

The current "You Made the Grade" booklet includes coupons for a free regular 6-inch combo meal from Subway, complimentary admission to a Reel Time theater and $2 off any new release DVD. Each booklet also contains an entry form for a quarterly drawing in which three winners are randomly awarded savings bonds in $2,000, $3,000 and $5,000 denominations.

"All authorized exchange shoppers, who are full-time students, are eligible to pick up a booklet and register for the savings bonds every time they receive a qualifying report card," said Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm, AAFES' chief senior enlisted advisor. "The program offers a terrific practical learning experience for our military students; it pays to learn."

To receive the AAFES's "You Made the Grade" booklet, students must present a valid military ID card and proof of an overall "B" or better average to their local Base Exchange. Students may receive one coupon package and enter the savings bond drawing for every qualifying report card. Military families can contact their local AAFES main store manager or general manager for more information.