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Box Tops Help Mount Pleasant's Education

THORNWOOD, N.Y. – In today’s economy, taking the time to cut out a little square from the top of a cereal box can go a long way, and Jennifer Walpole knows that first hand.

“They’re on so many products today and everyone is buying them anyway so if they just take the time to cut them out and hand them in it can equate to a lot of money,” said Walpole, a member of the Mount Pleasant Central School District Elementary PTA. “It doesn’t cost anything extra, it’s not like you’re selling wrapping paper or something like that.”

For the past four and a half years, Walpole has served as the Box Tops for Education coordinator for the PTA. During that time, Walpole said that donations of box tops has equated to almost $20,000 for the elementary schools – a significant amount of money considering each box top is worth only 10 cents. Box Tops for Education is a free fund-raising method that is featured on many household items such as cereal and baked goods. This year alone, Walpole said the school has raised around $3,200 in box tops.

Walpole, who has two daughters in the district and began as the box tops collector when her older daughter was in elementary school in 2007, said she has turned the annual fund-raiser into a bit of a friendly competition for the students. At the end of the year, the class in each elementary grade that collected the most box tops throughout the year is awarded an ice cream party.

“The kids really get into it and get competitive, which is kind of funny because it’s only ice cream,” Walpole said. “And the teachers and faculty members collect and get into it so it’s really a community event.”

Since the elementary PTA is broken up into two schools, Walpole said all money raised by the box tops is put towards any costs that the PTA has for their events every year.

“We could take the money and buy a smart board or something like that, but that would only affect that one class,” Walpole said.  “So we try to put it towards things that would affect everyone.”

Walpole and the other volunteers in the elementary PTA encourage members of the Mount Pleasant community to donate their box tops, even if they do not have a student in the elementary schools or within district. All box tops can be mailed to Hawthorne Elementary School at 225 Memorial Drive, Hawthorne, N.Y. 10532.

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