Panera Celebrates Teachers

Sunday, Apr 19, 9:00AM

Marietta, Ga. – As a child, Larry Underwood struggled through his first few years of school until his fifth grade math teacher made a positive, lasting impression on his life. Today, as an operating partner and owner of six successful restaurants in metro Atlanta, Underwood is seizing an opportunity to acknowledge that teacher, and East Cobb teachers, by treating them to a free cup of coffee at the Panera Bread Company Café located at The Avenue® East Cobb. 

From now through May 31, 2009, teachers at East Cobb public and private schools will receive a free 16 oz. cup of freshly brewed coffee on any visit Monday through Friday to the Panera Bread located at The Avenue East Cobb in Marietta, Ga. Teachers simply need to show their valid school identification to the cashier. No purchase necessary. Teachers also will receive a list of additional discount offers from Panera and other retailers at The Avenue East Cobb, including Ann Taylor Loft, J. Crew and The Dinner A’Fare. 

Underwood was an unmotivated fifth grade student who had repeated fourth grade, when his teacher, Mrs. Bobbie Rowe, took the time to encourage him, help him study and prepare for tests. After working hard for weeks, Underwood was rewarded with perfect scores on his next two math tests and the spark that ignited his interest in educational achievement. 

“By the time I realized the impact Mrs. Rowe had on my life and sought her out to thank her, she was no longer with us,” said Underwood. “From my personal experience, I know the influential role that elementary school teachers have in shaping children’s lives.” 

In addition to the free coffee offer, 300+ teachers at Pope High School, High Tower Trail Middle School and Mt. Bethel Elementary School – all registered as Partners in Educations with The Avenue East Cobb - will receive a letter and gift certificate valid for a complimentary dinner at The Avenue East Cobb Panera Bread during the month of May. Underwood continues, “To honor my personal hero, as well as all teachers who truly impact the lives of their students in ways they may never know about, we’re offering this small token of appreciation.”