SPRINGFIELD TWP.  An idea to build a rock climbing wall at Schrop Elementary has led to the school to be featured in a promotional video for the Box Tops for Education program.

Representatives of the Box Tops for Education visited Springfield's Schrop just before the end of the school year to make the video.

Physical Education Teacher Betty Kern coordinated the Box Tops for Education Program this year for Schrop. The program, which was started by General Mills in 1996, allows schools to earn money by sending in coupons from the box of everyday food items such as cereal. When Kern registered as the school's new coordinator, she had to identify what Schrop was going to use the funds earned from the box tops.

"I put in that we are using them to build a rock climbing wall in the gym for all students to use," said Kern.

The Box Tops organization thought that was a great idea and called to interview Kern. Apparently, no other schools have used their funds for such a project. 

"When they called, they asked how did I incentivize the students to bring in the box tops," Kern said. "I replied through physical activity rewards such as Ga Ga Ball and our own 'Flag Game.' If students bring in 25 box tops, they receive a ticket to one of the games or tournaments. If they bring in multiples of 25, they can invite friends to go with them."  

According to the box top officials, no other school had done this either. As the organization continued to interview Kern, she was asked other questions about the school and other programs offered. The officials were impressed with the array of physical activity programs at Schrop including Running Club, Walking Club, Workout Warriors and the all-school races.  

It was then that Box Tops asked if Schrop would be interested in being in its back-to-school promotional video and media outlets for this fall.

"Of course we said yes," said Kern.  

As of June, the school has raised more than $2,000 in box tops during the school year. Each box top is worth ten cents.  

"This doesn't sound like a lot, but as you can see they add up fast," Kern said. 

Principal Lisa Vardon said through the box tops and some donations, the school is almost to its goal. The Box Tops for Education organization will show what Schrop was able to do through the program. Vardon said the video team did interviews and followed Kern around throughout the day.