I have to confess something. In the three years since my daughter started first grade, I have never collected or delivered any Box Tops for Education™ to support my kids’ school.
I know. I’m a horrible person.
But hear me out before you condemn me as a Very Bad Mom. I absolutely love their school, and do many other things to contribute.
My list of excuses
First, there’s the extra mortgage payment-sized monthly tuition we shell out for two kids to attend this highly reputable, top-quality private Montessori school.
On top of that, I buy a bunch of things online through the school’s special affiliate link. I regularly order books for them from those catalogs they bring home every month, which helps grow the school library. I occasionally volunteer my time helping in and out of their classrooms. We even donate and purchase auction items for the school’s annual fundraising gala.
And while I knew the Box Tops program was worthwhile, I just felt like I didn’t have the time or energy left to shop for special items or collect the product labels and bring them back to school. Something’s gotta give, right?
Box Tops for Education: Fun facts
I didn’t realize how easy it is to earn money for my children’s school. Participating schools are eligible to receive donations from General Mills® through Box Tops. Here are a few facts that took me by surprise:
- Box Tops are worth 10 cents each for your child’s school.
- Box Tops is one of America’s largest school earnings loyalty programs.
- More than 80,000 k-8 schools participate.
- Schools can use Box Tops cash to buy whatever they need.
- Box Tops for Education has contributed over $525 million to participating schools since the launch of the program in 1996.
Fast-forward to this school year, with my daughter entering the multi-age upper elementary class as a fourth grader and my son starting his final year in the early childhood class as a kindergartner. I’ve been thinking hard about how to delegate more responsibilities to the kids, not only to trim down my to-do list, but also get them to take more ownership and build confidence as they do more “big kid” tasks.
Passing the lunch baton
One idea I cooked up: Get the kids more involved in planning, shopping and making meals—especially their school lunches. They’re perfectly capable of putting together a simple lunch, as well as being handy grocery store companions. Why not combine the job of shopping for and making their lunches with the chance to support their school? After all, they directly benefit from the money raised.
Last year, the school received a check for several hundred dollars as a result of many (other) families’ efforts to collect Box Tops, which helped purchase new outdoor equipment for the kids to learn and play outside. I’m talking zip lines, people! If that doesn’t motivate a 6- and 9-year-old to help with Box Tops, I don’t know what would.
So we talked it over as a family, and started making a shopping list for “back to school” lunch items. I shared the Box Tops for Education product list with the kids (you can download and print the list to make it easier). They had fun choosing items they’d like, along with other things like fresh fruits and veggies.
Grocery shopping, with an extra sprinkle of fun
With our list complete, we headed to Walmart, with the kids in charge of spotting and getting their Box Tops picks into the cart. I must admit, this felt more like a family affair—even a game!—than our typical get-it-over-with-so-we-can-go-home grocery trip. We also were able to nab most of the things on their school supplies lists, so that was an added bonus.
I thought a pencil pouch worked well as a “holder” for their Box Tops, and once we fill it up, the kids can glue them to the submission sheets we get from school and deliver them with pride. Maybe we can beat last year’s Box Tops check and get something even cooler for our amazing school.
Next week, I’ll share how I created a lunch-making system to empower my kids to pack their own lunches for school, while collecting Box Tops at the same time, and have fun doing it. I think you’ll especially like my free printables so you can quickly make a Lunch Making Station for your kiddos, too.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.