Take a look around LaVerna Evans Elementary, and it won’t be hard to see the impact the Box Tops for Education program has had on the school. From a fully stocked teachers’ work room, to a paved walking trail enjoyed by students and neighborhood residents alike, the collective power of Box Tops can be summed up in two words: absolutely remarkable. At the reigns of the O’Fallon, Illinois-based program is Betty Moulton, a six-year veteran Box Tops Coordinator. We chatted with Moulton, Betty to Betty, to learn how she inspires kids (and their families) to fundraise.
What made you decide to volunteer as a Box Top Coordinator?
I began by helping out the former coordinator in my spare time. When her children left our school, she asked me to take over. I, of course, said yes! This is my sixth year as Coordinator and I’m loving every minute of it!
Tell us about your duties as a Coordinator?
I set up a station in my school where I have 5th grade student-helpers collect, trim and count tops. They also deliver prizes. We call them The Box Toppers, and they are selected by their teachers for possessing good character traits and getting good grades. It has gotten a bit competitive to become a Topper and they are the best ambassadors that I could ever have! If the students are vested in a program, then it will be successful.
What are some creative ways you get kids excited about collecting Box Tops?
We use a theme each month; for example, our March theme is always “Race To Our School” with your Box Tops. All prizes and treats that are given out that month are related to race cars and motorcycles. The boys especially love this month of collecting. I have also started attending the open house event and kindergarten orientation at the beginning of the school year. At these events, I speak about the program and share a presentation my Toppers made. I begin my talk by saying, “I’m asking you to help me fundraise without asking you to buy anything, make anything, wash anything, work anything, or give any money…all I ask is that you look around your home, clip, and send in your Tops!” The parents love this! At the end of the talk I have a door prize drawing for two large bags filled with Box Top products. This goes over well, as you can imagine!
How have you put the money you’ve raised to use in your school?
Our education funds are so low that teachers were only given $30 for classroom supplies. So first, we ordered and stocked our teachers’ work room with helpful items like heavy duty staplers, pencil sharpeners, new die cuts and other supplies. Second, we’ve started up a wonderful program that we call “Meet the Author!” where we invite a children’ book author to come in once a year and spend the day with us. We had Herman Parish, author of Amelia Bedelia, come in and the students loved it! Finally, we put in a paved fitness trail around our soccer field. Our students have a fun running program that we track and award prizes for. The neighborhood surrounding our school has also benefitted from the trail. Our next goal is to install fitness stations at intervals along the trail.
What new Box Top events are you trying at your school this year?
A fun, new event that we are trying is our “Family Fun Fall Fair.” For every Box Top you bring in to the fair, you will receive a ticket to a game. I have to give credit to my friends at the Box Top University in Bentonville, Arkansas for this idea.