Earlier today, I was super excited to unveil that Houseful of Nicholes was chosen, along with six other blogs, to help spread the word about the Box Tops for Education program. I was contacted about a month ago, and had been anxiously getting ready for the experience at the General Mills World Headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The other blogs represented were:
Black and Married With Kids – Official Box Tops for Education Spokesbloggers
Cutie Booty Cakes
The Young Mommy Life
Double Saving Divas
All of these bloggers are active in their community with the Box Tops for Education program and collect for their child(ren) on a regular basis. The purpose of this particular panel is to make the collecting effort in African American communities stronger. As a coordinator, my heart literally swells with pride at the fact that General Mills recognizes how great the program is, and wants schools to be able to earn their fair share of the funds available. They also recognized the fact that statistically, African American schools lag greatly behind their counterparts.
We’re earning, but we could be earning more.
Talk about a fire being lit underneath me to strive to do even better than the amount we raised this year.
Facts about the Box Tops for Education Program
- There are more than 240 Box Tops for Education brands, including Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Kleenex, Ziploc, Hefty, Juicy Juice, Avery, Land’O Lakes, Brita, Hanes and Boise
- There are more than 75,000 coordinators involved (and I’m one of them!)
- Every clipped coupon is worth 10 cents and you can clip and earn up to $20,000 each school year.
- You can also earn online at the Marketplace and through partners such as 2 Ways 2 Earn, Growing Local Learning, and Earn More for Your School
- Every year, look out for your favorite stores to have Bonus Box Tops promotions including back to school, and summer time.
Is your school participating in the Box Tops for Education program? If they are, are you clipping for them? If not, you’re throwing money away! And we all know how we feel about doing that. These little tops may not seem like much, but they pack a punch in helping schools purchase things that they normally wouldn’t be able to on a regular federal budget. Think about that. Field trips, text books, white boards, sports equipment, technological equipment, art supplies, and funding after school programs.
Now, to get on with what we did on our first day of the panel meet up. You’re still with me, right?
Wednesday afternoon we were able to have a mini – MBA session with Mike B. He taught us how General Mills figures out how to market their products, and what’s interesting is marketing to our readers is kind of like the same thing. Honestly! The same way that I appreciate you all trusting me to give you honest feedback with things that I have done or seen, or read, or tried – any company wants you to feel that way about their brand. Basically becoming a brand ambassador.
We were then treated to a tour of the Walker Art Center (very similar to Chicago’s own Museum of Contemporary Art) and we were shown some equally cool pieces. Here’s a glimpse:
Yeah, that’s the back of my head, and a piece of art made from elephant dung. I think that it’s quite awesome (both my hair and the art piece). Shout out to Mor Mor (my mom) for her artistic hands and patience. I was also told by the ladybug that I stole HER hairstyle (I don’t care if it’s true or not!) There were lots of places that we couldn’t take flash photography, so no more photos of pieces.
We did come back to something else pretty amazing after our tour of the museum though. Food. Yes, it was artistic, and delicious!
and we then did a bit of mingling and introductions of ourselves:
Lamar Tyler of Tyler Media – One half of Black and Married with Kids – and also one half of the Box Tops Spokes Blogger pair. His wife Ronnie, wasn’t able to be with us.
Keonte Smith of Mommy2K – awesome spirit, awesome presence, fantastic person. She shared so much with me that will help me bring you all the best.
Renee Ross of Cutie Booty Cakes – Runner of marathonS, half marathonS and lover of all things social media. She’s a trailblazer, and she despises bugs. I like her!
Tara Jefferson of The Young Mommy Life – I’ve cyber stalked her for a minute now. It was SO fun hanging out with her. She knows so much about social media, and how to connect, it would take DAYS to glean just a percentage of what she knows. Great resource!
Tai of Double Saving Divas – Coupon QUEEN! She even worked deals out at the General Mills Company store! Talk about talking the talk and walking the walk!
Fred Goodall of the Mocha Dad. Hilarious. Knowledgeable. Techy. You should follow him on twitter.
Yours truly. A little nervous (yeah, I get nervous) but so honored to be among those I was with.
It was a FULL and EXHAUSTING day! It was filled with so much information that I tried to digest as quickly as possible, but of course ended up gorging myself and having to take home leftovers. I’ve been looking over everything daily and I keep seeing something new that I wrote down
Get to know these bloggers. Follow them. We’ll all have little tidbits of information about the program and even other things that we’ll be sharing from this point on.
Plus, we’re just fun to be around.
~Make It A Fantastic Day.
Disclosure: General Mills invited me to be part of the Box Tops for Education blogger panel, and covered all of my travel accommodations.
Photos: Andrea Ellen Reed Photography www.andreaellenreed.com