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Soup Labels, Receipts, Box Tops Help Students at Wilson

For years the Wilson Elementary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has encouraged parents and caretakers to donate items such as Campbell's soup labels, milk bottle caps, soda pop tops and Box Tops for Education strips to the school.

Those tiny items, which may seem like garbage to some, have garnered thousands of dollars and a large number of classroom and school supplies.

Just this year Wilson received a check for $2687.70 for the Box Tops for Education that was sent in last spring. Box Tops for Education funds are placed in a separate bank account and is used for a variety of needs including third grade field trips to local caverns, field trip money for families in need and incentives such as field trips to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center for good attendance.

In order to keep the Box Tops program moving in high gear and build upon its success, the PTA has engaged in a full-blown campaign encouraging Wilson students to bring in those items as quickly as possible. There is even a contest among students and teachers to see who can bring in the most Box Tops for Education with the winning student every month, designated as the Box Top Bandit, garnering a McDonald's gift certificate; and the class that brings in the most Box Tops each quarter wins a pizza party.

"Box Tops are an easy way for families to get involved in raising money for their school and the kids love to have the competitions between classrooms," said Tony Rammer, Wilson PTA president. "They have really embraced it and we have already raised over $2,000 for this school year."

Campbell's soup labels are typically used to purchase assorted physical education and playground equipment.

The PTA also collects McDonald receipts. These are worth school supplies no matter what the purchase, even for a coffee. The receipts have been used to purchase such large ticket items as televisions, overhead projectors, carts, books, playground toys, etc.

"Basically all of these items are collected and then used to enhance learning opportunities and school activities," said principal Tom Binder. "It's thanks to the parents that we can get these extra items. They take the time to send in, prepare, count and mail everything that is collected."

The milk bottle caps are converted to a cash donation which is used for classroom programs and McDonald's receipts are used for special items requested by the teachers. Wilson also gets a check from Target from sales made by customers who specify Wilson on their Target charge card.

"Especially during these tough economic times, these programs really can make a difference in our school and we are so thankful for everyone who helps, in whichever way they chose to donate," said Binder.

Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
March 3, 2009