RIGBY, Idaho - Jefferson Elementary School in Rigby is No. 1 in eastern Idaho for box top collections and No. 11 in the state.
For a parent of young students, chances are the cereal aisle at the grocery store is a frequent destination.
The tiny box tops on the corners of cereal boxes have helped schools across the county earn more than $475 million since 1996.
Jefferson Elementary is one of those schools. This year it decided to turn collecting box tops into a schoolwide competition.
"Competition seems to be the spark that ignites results," said office secretary Shannon Sessions.
Since the start of the school year, students were encouraged to collect box tops from home, neighbors and relatives.
Each week, they turn them in to their teachers. A competition wall was created to rank the classrooms by the number of box tops collected.
Sessions created the competition this year.
"For the year to date, we have over 31,000 box tops that we've collected for this school year," said Sessions.
After cutting, clipping and checking each one to make sure it hasn't expired, school staff sometimes worked weekends to stack them in sets of 50 and send them to box tops headquarters.
Each box top is worth 10 cents. Jefferson Elementary has earned $3,198.38, surpassing last year by more than $1,200.
"We are actually using the money we've collected to put in playground equipment across the street, which will be [the location of] our new school next school year; it was very, very spirited competition this year; it was exciting to see the kids they were very excited this year. They were the ones that helped build that playground, and now they get to play on it. So the fruits of their labor," said Sessions.
Mrs. Thompson's class won this year. Her students collected 1,671 box tops and were treated to a pizza party.