MINNEAPOLIS, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Nine K-8 schools in Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago were honored recently as winners of the contest, "Be an Education Hero with Box Tops for Education®," which identified schools in largely Hispanic areas of those three cities that best used Box Tops® to positively impact their students and communities. Each school received 20,000 Box Tops®, worth $2,000, and certificates of appreciation from their city governments. All three cities also recognized Box Tops for Education as an exemplary program.
In Los Angeles, the winning schools were Charles Barrett Elementary, Beethoven Street Elementary and Mark Twain Elementary. All three used Box Tops® to successfully implement everything from an innovative anti-bullying program to a physical fitness program that counters state budget cuts, to reviving a school garden.
The Houston winning schools, Purple Sage Elementary, Post Elementary and Genoa Elementary were picked for using Box Tops® to implement everything from a new state-of-the-art sound system to digital simultaneous translators to expensive gym equipment to fight childhood obesity.
The winners in Chicago – Edison Elementary, Oak Terrace Elementary and Saucedo Scholastic Academy - put their Box Tops funds to use to provide students with a safe haven from the streets on weekends, fund the career dreams of low-income students in the sciences and the arts, and purchase subscriptions to online videos and activities that teach its kids the three R's in ways easily understood by its large population of visual and English-language learners.
Chosen by independent panels of distinguished community leaders in each community, the schools are all predominantly Hispanic and low-income. Because of the many challenges they face, they search for funds wherever they can, and have found that Box Tops for Education® provides them with the means to supplement their shrinking budgets.
Tsubasa Tanaka, marketing manager for Box Tops for Education, said the search for these schools, which ran from September to December of 2012, aimed to create more awareness among Latino parents of the impact they can make in their children's education by collecting and redeeming Box Tops. Each Box Top, which appears on more than 240 brands of food, office and other products, is worth 10 cents, and collecting them is an easy, everyday way to earn cash for one's school.
"These nine schools are truly education heroes," Tanaka said. "They are inspiring examples of how schools can use Box Tops creatively to make a difference. By recognizing and rewarding them with these 20,000 Box Tops, we are hoping more Hispanic parents will see just how easy it is to get involved in their children's education."
The judges, who picked the winning schools from among more than 100 entries, included state senators, city councilmembers and aldermen, county judges and even the chief of staff of a U.S. Congresswoman.
This year's Box Tops® school search came on the heels of a Hispanic-focused initiative launched last year in those same three cities to recruit more Spanish-speaking parents and Hispanic coordinators at the school level. "Box Tops is not only about the funds, which are easy to earn through this program, but also about fostering parental involvement in education," Tanaka said.
About Box Tops for Education® The Box Tops for Education® program offers families easy, everyday ways to earn cash for their school. Since the program began in 1996, America's schools have earned more than $525 million through Box Tops for Education®, including more than $74 million last school year, alone. More than 90,000 K-8 schools are enrolled in the program, which is supported by more than 240 brands, including Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Kleenex, Ziploc, Hefty, Avery, Land'O Lakes, and Hanes.