Winning a contest is always good. Winning a contest and helping your school is even better. But winning a contest and getting to throw snowballs at a rival class has to be the best.
Students at Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Jefferson are participating in a Snow Ball Contest to see who can collect the most Box Tops and Labels for education as a part a program put on by General Mills.
Denise Templeman is the Box Tops for Education coordinator for those schools and came up with the idea for the Snow Ball Contest.
“They’re not actual snow balls, they are paper snowballs that I place on posterboard and each class gets to pick another class that is in their grade to ‘hit’ with the snowballs,” Templeman said. “You have to turn in 25 of either (Box Tops or labels) and your class gets a snowball. Each grade has a winner, and the winner is the class with the least amount of snowballs thrown at them. I believe that the kids vote on who to throw them at.”
One of the most competitive classes in the contest is Kris Baker’s fifth grade class at Woodrow Wilson. In addition to the popcorn and hot cocoa from Templeman, Baker, a fierce competitor in her own right, added the incentive of a pizza party if her class won.
“And (we need to) bring our fight on,” said Alivia Whitten, one of Baker’s students. “I want to win a pizza party for my classroom and win some money for us. I also want to throw snowballs at people.”
Another student, Haley Bucklin, chimed in: “I just like collecting them and I like winning stuff for my school. I want to throw snowballs at Ms. Starcevic’s class, they already threw five at us.”
Despite the girls’ fired up nature, one of the guys in the class didn’t seem too keen on his class’ chances.
“(Our chances) are good,” Quintin Sturgeon said. “I think we might lose on this one, because Ms. Starcevic is ahead of us by a lot. So we might come in second. To come back we need to get all the boxtops we can.”
Each label or Box Top is worth 10 cents to the school. Last year, Thomas Jefferson received a check for more than $1000 and Woodrow Wilson received one for $911. Templeman explained that sometimes the older kids don’t participate as much as the younger kids because of the “cool” factor. However, Baker’s class of pre-teens seem to be all in.
“Cause I want to have a pizza party,” Wade Klinginsmith said of his effort in helping his class win. “I brought in 50 box tops, which is two snowballs.”
Every good team is motivated from the top to the bottom, and Baker has ensured that her class is eager to win.
“Just talking to them about the fact that it is a competition and wanting to compete and win, which these guys totally bought into,” said Baker of how she inspired her class. “That’;s my nature, I like to compete. I want them to have something to work for or work towards. We won the United Way contest, and sharing with them that it makes a difference and it can help others and so Box Tops can be the same way. It goes back to our school, which helps all of us and future students.”
Since it started in 1996, the Box Tops for Education program has raised over $475 million for schools. Templeman believes that all parents should get involved in the Box Top and label collecting process.
“I got involved before I even had kids,” she said. “I used to give them (Box Tops) to my nieces. Parents can join boxtops4education.com and participate. You can keep track of your kids’ schools’ progress on there too. When I was at Box Tops University, a lady said to us, ‘You wouldn’t throw a dime away would you? That’s what you do when throw away Box Tops.’”
Staff Writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641)-792-3121 ext. 426 or firstname.lastname@example.org