Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Box Tops for (Homeschool?) Education

Many of you may have heard of the Box Tops for Education program, which allows schools to earn cash to supplement their budgets and purchase necessities. But did you know that homeschoolers can benefit, too? U.S. homeschool associations that contain any class with students from Kindergarten to 8th grade, organized and operated primarily for educational purposes with 15 or more students may register on the Box Tops for Education site.

So while talking to a Box Tops representative this weekend, I was really excited to learn that homeschoolers can also participate. I blogged about this program last year on one of my other blogs right before I started homeschooling my daughter. I barely knew what a homeschool association was, much less the fact that there were some in my area. But I have since learned how valuable a good hs association can be for homeschooling families. If you are new to homeschooling, be sure to look for a good hs co-op or organization in your area. If you are already a member of one, and haven't heard them mention this program, chances are they don't know about it. So go to the Box Top website and print off the information so that you can take it with you and talk about it the next time your group meets.

If you are a teacher, and your school is not taking advantage of this program, go knock on some office doors. This is a great opportunity for you to purchase books, computers, curricula, or other supplies for your school/class. My foreign language teachers: Think about the awesome teaching tools or field trips your class could take with some extra cash that your students earn by clipping box tops!

In 1996, General Mills launched Box Tops for Education in California on Big G cereals like Cheerios®, Total®, Lucky Charms® and other family favorites. Since then, the number of participating products has grown by leaps and bounds. To date, Box Tops has helped America's schools earn $348 million. Your school can earn up to $80,000 every year.

Check out these easy ways to earn:

♥ You can clip 10¢ Box Tops coupons from hundreds of products such as Cheerios®, Betty Crocker®, Juicy Juice®, Ziploc®, Kleenex®, Hefty® and more! The list of participating products includes cereals, frozen foods, juice, paper products, even school/office supplies, to name a few.

♥ At the Box Tops Marketplace, you can shop at over 70 online stores like Oriental Trading Co., Office Depot, and Lands' End. A percentage of purchases goes back to your school.

♥ You can earn cash for your school just by buying the books that you love. Begin your shopping at the Box Tops Reading Room to earn up to 6% on purchases made at Barnes & Noble.

My Class Essentials is a free teacher registry that allows K-8 teachers to create a list of all the supplies their classroom needs. Parents and friends can then select and purchase from over 6000 supplies. Classes get the supplies and the school gets a 2% donation on all purchases.

To make the process even more enjoyable for young children, you can choose and print a collection worksheet for your niños to color and fill with the Box Tops you clip. Or help them make their very own collection container using any number of containers, like an empty cereal or kleenex box. Go here for some ideas.

And to make mamás happy, their website has a whole page of coupons for participating products that you can print off.

Oh, and remember my post last week on using cooking to supplement your lessons? Well, they also have a page with recipes for cooking with kids.

In my post last year I stated:

"Overall, what a great program! I do think they are missing a great opportunity, though, by not marketing to Latinos. They should publish portions of their web site and box tops in Spanish!"

¿Sabes qué? They heard me.

Con mucho cariño...

Disclosure: For writing about Box Tops for Education, I was compensated for my time. But all the opinions written above are completamente my own. For more information, click here.


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