BY HANA MEDINA
IT’S NO SECRET that many of our nation’s
schools are struggling with funding. But
the good news is, your purchases at Costco
can help fill in some of those gaps. Box
Tops for Education (BTFE), started by
General Mills in ;;;;, has a simple premise: Purchase a product with a BTFE logo,
clip the box top and turn it in to your
child’s school. In return, the school
receives ;; cents for every box top;
General Mills issues checks twice a year.
And they add up fast. “To date, Box Tops
has contributed ;;;; million to more
than ;;,;;; American schools,” says
Maria Lopez-May, who runs the Box Tops
program for General Mills.
Due to the simple nature of this ;;-
year-old fundraising effort, about one in
four U.S. households participate, making it
one of the larger private funders of U.S.
Costco is offering 25 different products from
General Mills, Kleenex, Ziploc, Lysol and Finish,
each worth eight box tops. Three thousand
Costco members will also be eligible to win
100 box tops in a social media contest. Visit
costcobtfe.com for more information.
Lopez-May says schools can use the
earnings to buy books, musical instruments and gym equipment, fund enrichment programs, hire crossing guards,
create school gardens and more.
Chris McIntire, principal at McKinley
Primary School in Gridley, California, says,
“Box Tops has been vital in some of the
budgeting issues that we have in our school
district and in the state of California. We
have been able to use some of our Box Tops
earnings to promote some of the field
trips.” He explains that their first-graders
visit the Sacramento Zoo after they study
the animals in the classroom.
Kimberly Odom, principal at River
Gate Elementary School in Charlotte,
North Carolina, says her school’s parent-
teacher association (PTA) had always found
creative ways to get parents to turn in box
tops. However, one lucky parent electroni-
cally entered a BTFE code from a package of
Cheerios at boxtops; education.com
(another way parents can participate) and
randomly won ;;;;,;;; for the school.
Odom says they were grateful to have
the funds to fill in for some long-standing
technological needs, such as new Chrome-books and a ViewSonic flat-planel display
(similar to a SMART board). They were also
able to update the school’s sign to an electronic marquee, purchase new playground
equipment, provide professional development for their staff and engage students in a
new literacy program. “We’re just very
grateful to our PTA—they’re a hard-working
group of moms—and especially to the parent who entered on a whim,” says Odom.
Box tops in bulk
Today, it’s not just General Mills products that bear the BTFE logo. Additional
brands have jumped on the bandwagon,
including Ziploc, Kleenex, Lysol and
Finish. Costco’s product offerings from
these brands are each worth eight box
tops, while items found at other grocery
retailers are worth only a single box top.
“Costco’s participation in the Box Tops
program is important to General Mills
because they are a trusted and valued partner,” says Bill Malkowiak, director of field
sales at General Mills. “Over the last six
years, this program with Costco alone has
generated ;;.; million in earnings to local
schools. We know that Costco members
are very passionate about education-related initiatives, and their participation
in Box Tops for Education increases the
number of schools we can impact in their
Additional ways to earn box tops can
also be found on the BTFE website.
A Costco competition
Exclusive to Costco members this year
is the “Inspire Imagination Sweepstakes.”
Three thousand members will be chosen to
win ;;; box tops. Enter by snapping a
photo or tweeting about how Box Tops for
Education inspires imagination in your
kids. Share your entry via Instagram or
Twitter with ;InspireContest, or enter
costcobtfe.com. Contest details are
available on the site.
Whether your school needs help purchasing new library books, laptops or
providing educational activities, all it
takes is a pair of scissors and the BTFE
logo to make a lasting impact. C
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Click to watch a video on how Costco
Box Tops helped a community’s school.
(See page 9 for details.)
Buy, clip, earn