MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota - As teachers head back into the classroom for another challenging school year, the outlook is especially difficult for the many schools that lack adequate funding. According to The Education Trust, students in the highest poverty districts receive approximately 7% (or $1,000) less in state and local funding per student than students educated in the wealthiest districts. Yoplait and Box Tops are on a mission to try to help close that gap so that kids can reach their fullest potential this school year and beyond. As a first step towards that goal, Box Tops and Yoplait will donate $20,000 in Box Tops to two Los Angeles area schools. Inner-City Education Foundation (ICEF) View Park Middle School in Inglewood, will receive $10,000 to help support its STOKED program, a physical education program that uses sports to promote leadership, and Jefferson Elementary in Lennox will receive $10,000 to support its involvement in the Playworks program, which brings in additional staff to help students develop life skills such as conflict resolution and communication skills through play.
“Our school started the STOKED program to give our students more opportunities to stay off the streets, but also to feel comfortable being active in a safe environment. However, we did not have adequate funding to offer it to many students,” says Mr. Benito "Benny" Mendez, P.E. teacher at ICEF View Park Middle School. “It is difficult to put into words what this funding and the new equipment means to this program and to my students. It’s a dream, just seeing something new in the hands of my students. I am looking forward to putting it all to good use to motivate students to become lifelong movers outside of my classroom.”
Beyond the Box Tops donations, Yoplait surprised ICEF View Park Middle School with all the items on its STOKED program wish list and surprised Jefferson Elementary with new playground equipment (balls, jump ropes, cones, basketball nets, etc.). Learn more about these schools and see the reactions to the donations at BTFE.com/impact
“Box Tops is proud to work with Yoplait to support the amazing programs at these two Los Angeles-area schools,” says Kristina Lynch, Box Tops for Education’s Brand Experience assistant manager. "Box Tops has always believed that a child's education is the foundation to achieving their fullest potential. Add Yoplait's commitment to providing experiences for kids and families to connect through play and physical education, and this was the perfect opportunity for us to team up with Yoplait. Together we can support these schools and foster play and the confidence that comes from learning skills which these students can carry into adulthood.”
To help teachers and schools with funding gaps, like ICEF View Park Middle School and Jefferson Elementary, Box Tops has enhanced its mobile app to allow participants to easily find and support schools with products they already purchase. Through the Schools in Need feature, Box Tops is empowering shoppers in every community to support the students who need it most. New supporters can tap the "Find a School in Need" button within the app and current supporters can modify their school of choice within account settings at any time to support a different school.
"Yoplait exists to help families raise kids that are happy, healthy and strong, one serving of good at time,” says Rachel Letsche, assistant manager, Brand Experience, Yoplait. “By coming together with Box Tops, we could help both schools and parents teach and raise good little humans.”
Over the past 25 years, Box Tops has contributed nearly $1 billion to K-8 schools in the United States. As part of General Mills’ commitment to advance equity in education, Box Tops has a renewed focus to help the students in schools where support is most needed. Every time supporters shop participating products and scan their receipt within 14 days, earnings will be directed to their chosen school. Schools can spend this money however they need it most, like helping teachers and students get the supplies they need.
To support Schools in Need, download the Box Tops for Education app available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play. To learn more on what it means to be a school in need, visit BTFE.com/school-in-need. One simple scan of your grocery receipt could help fill the funding gap for the schools that need it the most. For more information, or to see a full list of participating products, visit BTFE.com.