Niagara Gazette

Features

September 17, 2012

CHECK THE LABELS: Shoppers can help Niagara Falls schools by saving boxtops

Niagara Gazette — Don’t recycle that cereal box or can until you check the label. If it’s one of several participating products, you can help education by clipping a portion of the label or box top and sending it to your local school.

The program is called Box Tops and Labels for Education and while the rules vary slightly among schools in the region, the general idea is the same. 

“The kids collect box tops and labels and turn them into a parent who catalogs them,” said Angela Santiago, a theme specialist at Henry J. Kalfas Magnet School, who also said that 100 percent of the profit from the program goes to classroom resources.

Manufacturers of thousands of products return up to 10 cents per label or box top. The labels are easy to spot when shopping (see photo above).

Kids, parents, or community members bring in specially-marked units of these select brand name items and turn them into the school’s office. Usually, a joint school-parent group takes charge of sorting, verifying, and redeeming the box tops. The school then either receives a check, or in the case of Labels for Education, can choose items from a catalogue.

The benefits of such programs are utilized in various ways at the discretion of the school and the parent group. At Kalfas, the profits are normally used for literacy-based materials.

Janet Crivello, who co-chairs Hyde Park Elementary’s program, said the school was able to purchase $300 worth of new uniforms for the school’s choir with money from the box tops program. They were also able to buy basketballs, art supplies and classroom equipment through the catalogue. 

Niagara-Wheatfield elementary schools participate in the program, as do the elelmentary schools and the middle school at Lewiston Porter according to spokesmen from both districts.

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