Box Tops for Education helps students learn work skills

February 15, 2017

If you’re looking for a recipient for your Box Tops for Education, LifeScape will gladly take them!  A group of students uses them as a practical learning project, with some proceeds given back to the community. 

Here’s how it works.   Students in our PAES lab—which stands for Practical Assessment Exploration System—process the labels we receive. They check the expiration dates and cut them out if they need to.  They count the box tops, and bundle them in bags or glue them to count sheets, and send them to the Box Tops organization.  Twice a year, students receive a check. 

The proceeds are used a couple of ways.  First, some are used as “pay” for their efforts.  “We will use it for a social experience for the students that they will choose, like going out to eat or going to an event or on a field trip,” says Samantha Doerr, Job Skills Associate in the education department.

Second, the students choose a way to give back to the community.   The students recently used some of the proceeds to purchase toiletry items for people experiencing homelessness.  They bought deodorant, combs, toothbrushes and paste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion, plus a bottle of water—then bagged and delivered about 70 kits for a local shelter. 

The Box Tops project fits the purpose of the PAES Lab well.  The PAES lab helps teens identify areas of work preference and provides training for jobs. It’s a hands-on, simulated work environment which provides training in work readiness skills in five broad areas- Processing/Production, Business/Marketing, Construction/Industrial, Consumer/Service, and Computer/Technology.  It also assesses behavioral barriers to successful learning and helps create positive work behaviors that will help students be successful in future work environments. 

“We really appreciate the Box Top donations,” says Samantha.  “It provides a real work opportunity, with the students getting the real work reward and experience with giving back to their community.”

If you have Box Tops you’d like to donate, you can mail them or drop them off to LifeScape PAES Lab, 2501 W. 26th Street, Sioux Falls, SD, 57105.  Visit www.boxtops4education.com if you’d like to see a list of participating products.