As students everywhere embark on a new school year, teachers are busy stocking their classrooms with the materials the schools are able to provide. Unfortunately, many schools don’t have the funding needed to get all the supplies their teachers request for a successful year. This is where Box Tops for Education comes in. Since the program launched in 1996, over 70,000 schools have collectively earned more than $913 million through a joint effort by parents, students, teachers and Box Top Coordinators to clip the tops of participating products (like General Mills Cheerios, Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies and Nature Valley granola bars) and apply the cash earned towards school funds.
This year, Box Tops for Education is going digital with a new and improved mobile app, making it even easier for people to help schools get what they need. As soon as you download the free app (available via iTunes App Store and Google Play), you can sign up and select the school you would like to support. Then, scan your store receipt to automatically identify all participating Box Tops products and bonus offers, and instantly add cash to your school’s earnings online.
FYI, Clippable Box Tops will remain on some product packaging during the transition, and they will continue to be accepted until they expire. Better yet, supporters can ‘double dip’ during the packaging transition by clipping the physical Box Tops and scanning their receipt with those participating items.
One thing that’s great about the app is that since you don’t have to hand in the Box Tops personally, the school you support could be anywhere in the country. This means grandparents and other family members who might live far away can easily help the schools of the kids they love. It also means that if you are in a school district that is well funded, you have the opportunity to do some good for another school in need. I asked the parents in the Remarkably Average Parents Facebook group to help identify schools in need and tell us personal stories about why their kids’ schools would benefit from some extra help.
Here are 7 schools that my family will be donating our Box Tops to (we eat a TON of Cheerios) and would benefit from your Box Top earnings too! You can switch the school you are supporting in your account at any time.
1. Kenwood Elementary in Clawson, Michigan
“I am the PTO Treasurer at Kenwood Elementary. It’s in a suburb of Detroit. Our district is pretty small (1500 students) and many of our students are from lower income cities. We desperately need funds. Michigan is terrible for school funding and we are very close to having to make some drastic changes (closing a school or being annexed by another school district). We LOVE our school and our small town! It’s the kind of place where people look out for each other and rush to help a family in need with no questions asked. Our teachers are amazing and seriously underpaid. We have two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school and would hate to lose what makes Clawson Schools such an amazing place to be. Right now, we barely have enough money for operating expenses, let alone extras. Any gift could be used for much needed resources for our reading specialists (they have had a wish list for these items for years), grounds improvements, technology updates, etc.”
2. Hinchcliffe Elementary School in Ofallon, IL
“Our school has been fundraising for a new playground. Our current playground is a safety hazard and is no longer usable. Our proximity to an Air Force Base means that many of our students have at least one parent who is active duty military. Due to budget issues in the State of Illinois, we don’t have any funds to cover this ‘luxury.’ Our PTO spent all of last year raising money to fund the project, but is still in need of funds. We all know that providing these kids with breaks and outdoor time throughout the day increases learning and their attention, so providing them with a safe playground is a necessity!”
3. The International Community School in Decatur, GA
“I am on the PTO for the International Community School in Decatur, Georgia. 75% of our students are on free or reduced lunch, and 50% of our students are from immigrant or refugee families. The funds are desperately needed, as we are a public charter and not completely funded by our district. Since many of our families don’t understand English, Box Tops were a really easy way they could contribute to the school’s various projects. I’m hoping downloading the app doesn’t create a barrier for our non-English-speaking families.”
4. Regency Place Elementary in San Antonio TX
“I am a 3rd grade teacher at Regency Place elementary in San Antonio TX. We are a Title I school, bilingual school. I have taught there for 13 years and my son is a student there. We have the best, most hard working, caring teachers. We have a PTA that works hard to help our school, but the majority of members are teachers. We could use extra funds to help our students have better access to books.”
5. Winchester Elementary School in West Seneca, NY
My daughter’s school (K-5th grade) is in desperate need of a new playground. All the other schools in the district have an updated playground but ours is falling apart quite literally. The PTA has been trying to save up and earn funds towards a new playground for some time. We were told maybe by the time my 1st grader is a 5th grader they will be able to have to fun, functional space. Any help for them to reach their goal sooner would be amazing!”
6. Ruth N. Upson Elementary School in Jacksonville, FL
My son’s school NEEDS funds badly. We are in a lower income area and our PTA is kind of sad. Over 50% of the parents do not or cannot help monetarily. I do everything I can to generate money for the school, including Box Tops and holding art auctions of the kids’ art just to generate funds for the art program! Anything to get proceeds to the school for their wish list.”
7. St. Philip the Apostle school in Addison IL
“We just got a new science curriculum and could use some extra to purchase the accompanying equipment kits! Science is incredibly important, especially now.”
If you know a school in need of supplies and funding, please tell us about your school in the comments below!