Incentive programs provide students with educational tools, educators say

BEEKMANTOWN - Before you throw that soup can or cereal box into the recycling bin, Carrie Trombley wants you to take a second to see if it can benefit your local school.

As the incentives coordinator at Beekmantown Elementary School, Trombley's role is to bring together the efforts of faculty, students and their families to raise money through a variety of incentive programs. Since taking the position last year, Trombley has overseen the school's participation in nearly a dozen programs that provides money for playground equipment, physical education supplies and many other resources.

Nestle Pure Life Go Play, Tyson Project A+, Price Chopper Tools for Schools, Hannaford Helps Schools, Box Tops for Education and Campbell's Labels for Education are just some of the programs with which the school has been involved, said Trombley, with new ones constantly being examined to see how they would benefit students.

"We do a lot," said Trombley.

The Box Tops for Education program, for example, is offered through General Mills Inc. and involves consumers collecting box tops from General Mils products such as Cheerios and Trix cereals or Pillsbury baked goods. When returned to the corporation, the majority are worth 10 cents, said Trombley, though some bonus box tops for bulk products are worth 50 cents. Last year, the school received enough boxtops to raise $1,400 for education tools.

The Campbell Soup Company offers its Campbell's Labels for Education, which hosts a program similar to that of General Mills. Labels from soup cans and other Campbell products are worth points toward redemption, Trombley explained. Each year, Campbell changes the point value on some of their 1 point products and makes them worth 5 points. The coordinator said she then sends

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the points on a monthly basis along with up to 2,000 extra points allowed for submission into the company's Labels for America community bonus program.

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