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Oakside Gymnasium Receives New Rock Wall Thanks to Box Tops Program

Coach Tim Murphy and Mrs. Janice Stewart stand with representatives from Oakside’s leading Box Top classes, including Ms. DelMonaco's third grade class, Mrs. Ferreira's third grade class, and Mrs. O'Donovan's second grade class.
Coach Tim Murphy and Mrs. Janice Stewart stand with representatives from Oakside’s leading Box Top classes, including Ms. DelMonaco's third grade class, Mrs. Ferreira's third grade class, and Mrs. O'Donovan's second grade class.
Gym class just got a little more exciting at Oakside Elementary thanks to a new rock climbing wall that was recently installed in the school’s gymnasium. The wall was installed with no cost to the school or District thanks to the school’s participation in the Box Tops for Education program.

Oakside teacher Janice Stewart, who helped organize the school’s Box Top collection, has been participating in the Box Tops for Education program for over seven years. To gain the rock wall, Oakside spent the past few years accumulating over 40,000 Box Tops, which earned them enough credit to acquire the $4,000 item. 

Representatives from Oakside’s leading Box Top classes, including Ms. Delmonaco's third grade class, Mrs. Ferreira's third grade class, and Mrs. O'Donovan's second grade class, were recognized this fall for collecting over 1,000 Box Tops each, with many collecting almost 2,000 Box Tops. Throughout the collection process, students have not only assisted the cause by bringing in Box Tops from home, but have also helped to count and package the Box Tops for submission. 

“This is a wonderful program, not only because it provides math practice, but because it also helps strengthen our school community as well as our neighborhood community,” Stewart said.   “We even get unanimous envelopes of coupons from workers in the administration building. I truly want to thank them, whoever they are.”

Previously, the money from the effort had been used in a variety of ways. In past years funds have gone to help purchase miscellaneous items to support the school’s PBIS program, to purchase prizes for student incentives, and to purchase school tee shirts for students. But now, instead of buying standard playground equipment such as balls, hoola-hoops and jump ropes, this year the school decided that the money would be better utilized by providing something more permanent that could be appreciated at the building for years to come. 

When deciding what to spend their credit on, Stewart teamed up with Oakside's Physical Education teacher Tim Murphy to discuss ideas. The two decided that the best use of the Box Top funds would be to purchase something that all students, regardless of their physical strength, agility, and/or limitations, would be able to benefit from.

“When Janice said we had all the Box Top money, we tried to think of a piece of equipment for the school that every student could use,” Murphy said. “We thought to put something in the gym, and the rock wall was perfect.  It’s a traversing wall so they go from left to right across the wall, which is really great for upper body strength, leg strength and confidence. Everybody’s having a lot of success with it and they’re really enjoying it so far. The kids are always asking to use it.”

Stewart will soon be mailing out another collection of Box Tops which may allow Oakside to purchase another section of a wall to add to their existing one. 

“This project is truly an example of how important teamwork is and how one Box Top at a time adds up to a 'free' gift,” Stewart said.  “If anyone in the community collects these tops, or receives the Box Top coupons on their shopping receipts and generally tosses them, please remember to think of our school and how they may help enhance the lives of our Oakside students.”

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