If you have kids then I’m sure you are aware that funding for the current school year has been cut.  It’s a shame.  Teachers are being laid off and displacing kids in the middle of the year.  Programs that the kids have been enjoying all year are now being taken away.  It’s sad.  I hate it.

But there are some ways to give money to your local school without dipping further into your budget.  If you follow the 5 ideas I’ve listed here you could earn $80 a school year for your child’s school.  Imagine what an impact that would be if all the kids did the same.  If there are 30 kids per class, 4 classes per grade, and 7 grades (K-6); that equals $67,200 per year!!  That would make a HUGE impact on our kid’s education.

Box Tops for Education

The Box Top for education from General Mills gives money directly to individual classrooms.  I love this program because the money goes to my daughter’s teacher for use in her classroom how ever she sees fit.

How it works:  The tops of the boxes of a ton of General Mills products have a graphic on the top that says “Box Tops for Education”. Cut that off and send it to school with your child.  Each box top is worth a dime to the school.  You can also shop through Box Top Marketplace and earn extra money for your school.  Just visit the website where you are going to do your shopping through the link on Box Top Marketplace and the store will donate a stated percentage to your school.

The Impact:  If each child brought in 10 box tops a month that would be $30 a month to use in their classroom.  You can look on their website and see how much your school as earned so far this year.  My daughter’s school has earned over $4,000 so far this year.  Good for them!

Target

How it works:  If you have Target card and use it at Target or Target.com they will donate 1% of your purchase to the school you have enrolled in their program.

The Impact:  If each child’s family bought $30 a month on their Target card the classroom would receive about $8 a month.

If you have trouble using credit cards responsibly then please skip this one.  It’s not worth giving your child’s school 1% of your shopping trip if you are then going to pay 17% in interest.  If that makes you feel guilty just send a few dollars to the school and call it even.

Walmart

How it works:  Save up your plastic shopping bags and the school can recycle them at Walmart for money.  The school can earn $5.00 for every 60 bags turned in.  They do not have to be Walmart bags, I don’t believe.  All bags must be dropped off by March 31, 2009.

The Impact:  If each child earned $5 through plastic bag recycling the classroom would receive $150. Not to mention all the bags saved from landfills.

Campbell’s Labels for Education

How it works:  Similar to the Box Top program, you cut off the label of Campbell’s products and turn them in for money.  I looked on their website and couldn’t determine how much the labels are worth.  Quite a bit of their site was down so maybe I missed it.  If anyone out there knows, please share.

The Impact: Let’s just say for argument’s sake that each child could earn $.50 a month from this program.  That gives $15 a month to the school per classroom.

Albertson’s

Other grocery stores besides Albertson’s also participate in similar programs.  Check with your school to see if the store you shop at has a program.

How it works:  You are given a number that identifies your preferred school.  Then when you shop up to 4  percent of your total is donated to your school.  You just have to remember to give the cashier the number of your school.  Some stores will link your loyalty card to your school and keep track of it that way.

The Impact: If each child earned $6 a month from this program the classroom would get $180 a month.  I don’t know what up to 4% really means, so I estimated an average of 2%.  Then I guessed an average of $75 per week at the grocery store.

Pic by: Liz Marie

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