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Local math club says 'thanks' for box tops

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Babb Middle School's Math Club is thanking members of the community for helping it get close to its goal of raising $500 by the end of the school year, through the Box Tops for Education program, according to the club's sponsor.

Shronda Smith, the school's instructional math coach and math club sponsor, said the school received a check for $275.60 from the Box Tops for Education program for coupons collected between November and February. Since then, Babb students and teachers have collected an additional $176 in box tops, Smith added. Those funds will be represented in a check scheduled to arrive in October, she said.

All together, the Math Club has collected a total of $451.60 with three and a half weeks left to meet the $500 goal set last fall.

Math Club member Selwyn Rodriguez said the group owes a debt of gratitude to community members, who sent in box tops for a month after media reports about the collection surfaced in November. "We're very happy, since we can go to more competitions," Rodriguez said. "We are happy for the community for sending us their box tops, and we thank them for supporting the math club."

The money collected through the Box Tops for Education program will be used to pay the costs of attending math competitions during the 2009-2010 school year, Smith said. The box tops can be found on the tops of several General Mills items, including Kleenex tissues, Fruit Roll-Ups, Cheerios cereal, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, and Hamburger Helper.

Smith said she wants to send the Math Club members to at least six competitions over the next school year, including contests sponsored by groups, such as Mathcounts and the Georgia Math League. "There are competitions we would like to attend in the fall," Smith said. "With what we have collected now, we have the funds, and we can go ahead and send off the registration fees for those competitions."

After the Math Club's quest to raise $500 in box tops was reported by the media last fall, Smith said businesses and local residents began sending in box tops and cards offering support, on a daily basis, for approximately one month.

"Every day, I'd go to the front office to pick up my mail, and the secretary would hand me a new stack of cards from people who were sending in their box tops," Smith said. "That lasted for about a month, and then it began to slow down ..."

Babb Principal Felicia Brown said she is "excited" about the level of community support the Math Club received through the box tops program, because it will allow the group to begin planning for next year's competitions. "They are definitely in support of our students, and they are part of a greater team effort to teach our children," Brown said.

Smith said box tops continue to arrive at the school, and she believes the school will meet its goal of collecting $500 by the end of this month.

"Students and teachers are still turning box tops in every week, so I'm optimistic that we're going to make it," she said.