BENTON - Duck taped to the bleachers from neck to toe, Thomas W. Kelly Elementary Principal Fara Jones and Assistant Principal Karen Powers sported shower caps and goggles as they waited for Vicki LeGrand's third grade class to cream them with pies on Friday afternoon in the high school gym.
Approximately 450 elementary students, teachers and parents were cheering the third graders on as they each took their turn to smash a pie in their principals' faces.
"When Mrs. Powers got on the intercom to announce the winner, we (LeGrand and her class) all had our fingers crossed," LeGrand said. "And when Mrs. Powers said that she thought our class had won, the kids let out an ear-piercing scream. Our class is at the end of the hall and teachers in the teachers' lounge, which is far away from our class, said they could hear the kids screaming."
Since the beginning of the school year, each class has collected General Mills and Betty Crocker box tops with the Box Top for Education fund raiser logo on them. Each top is redeemable for 10 cents. To boost the incentive for students, Powers and Jones decided to hold a contest for the February and January totals. The class that brought in the most box tops, got to toss pies at Jones and Powers at the "Tape and Toss" assembly.
Admission for the assembly was two box tops, and in return, each student received a lengthy strip of duck tape used to secure Jones and Powers to the plastic-covered bleachers. A few of the teachers handing out tape to the students said approximately seven rolls of duck tape were used for the event.
A total of 1,674 box tops were collected for Friday's event, making the tops redeemable for $167, Powers said. LeGrand's winning class brought in a total of 118 box tops. Jeanne Marshall's second grade class came in second with 115 box tops, and Diana Daniel's third grade class finished out the contest with 111 box tops.
LeGrand said her class of approximately 20 students worked really hard, and she feels this contest gives her students pride. She encouraged her students to also ask their grandmothers, aunts, uncles or neighbors for box tops. Legrand's students counted their box tops every day, she said.
Doing things like the "Tape and Toss" helps build a good relationship between the students, principals and teachers, she added.
Box Tops for Education was created in 1996 by General Mills. Each school can choose three ways to participate: clipping, shopping and charging. Each way can generate up to $10,000 each for a combined possible total of $30,000 for a school each school year. Since 1996, over $50 million has been generated for 60,000 schools nationwide. Schools can use the money for anything they want.
Kelly Elementary will use the money raised from the Box Tops for Education for their annual play day at the end of the school year, Powers said.
Elementary students also collect Campbell's soup labels, and the fifth grade collects aluminum can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.
Students whose class didn't win the contest still had a good time watching their peers toss pies at their principals. Nathan Rettig, of Heather Burger's fifth grade class, brought in half of the 56 box tops his class collected. Even though his class didn't win, Rettig still remained in good spirits. "I like being here," he said. "It's fun, but I would have liked to pie them."
For more information on Box Tops for Education, visit www.boxtops4education.com.