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Boxtops...open to homeschoolers


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In case your group is interested...Boxtops has revamped their rules and homeschool groups are allowed to participate.

 

Here's a quote from the rules on their website:

It is also available to home school associations, containing any class with students from Kindergarten to 8th grade, in the United States organized and operated primarily for educational purposes and have 15 or more students.

 

My group has participated in the Boxtop program for several years. Last year our small group of 14 families earned $170 in Boxtops.

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Here's a link to the BTFE website: http://www.boxtops4education.com/. You will have to call their toll free number (888-799-2444) to register your homeschool group. You will need to have the following info: School/association name; address; principal/director; director's phone number; no. of students, number of teachers; dates your school is in session (we just chose a 12 month period to use since we are all on different schedules); grade levels. They will give you an ID number then you will have to wait 5-10 business days for them to verify info and get your group into the system/on the website. You must have a minimum of 15 students for your group to qualify.

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Here's a link to the BTFE website: http://www.boxtops4education.com/. You will have to call their toll free number (888-799-2444) to register your homeschool group. You will need to have the following info: School/association name; address; principal/director; director's phone number; no. of students, number of teachers; dates your school is in session (we just chose a 12 month period to use since we are all on different schedules); grade levels. They will give you an ID number then you will have to wait 5-10 business days for them to verify info and get your group into the system/on the website. You must have a minimum of 15 students for your group to qualify.

 

Would we use our HS assoc. president as our principal/director or our actual co-op class coordinator? Who's address would we use for the address? Me as the box top coordinator or someone else's? I'm considering becoming a coordinator. Any more information would be welcome. Thanks!

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Would we use our HS assoc. president as our principal/director or our actual co-op class coordinator? Who's address would we use for the address? Me as the box top coordinator or someone else's? I'm considering becoming a coordinator. Any more information would be welcome. Thanks!

 

From what the rep on the phone told me, the association director is considered the principal. Since I am our coordinator, I used my address, with permission from our director. The reward checks will be mailed to the address on file so for our group, it's easier if it come to me as the coordinator.

 

HTH!

~Mia

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From what the rep on the phone told me, the association director is considered the principal. Since I am our coordinator, I used my address, with permission from our director. The reward checks will be mailed to the address on file so for our group, it's easier if it come to me as the coordinator.

 

HTH!

~Mia

 

When I called a few months ago to register, I was told our group needed to have a checking account. I was told they do not make out checks to an individual. Perhaps this is now something they have changed. Our group does not have a bank account and we were not able to register. I was also asked if we were registered with the state. What does that mean?

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

and then we did all of the contests over the summer and as of 2 days ago, my group was deactivated. When I called to find out why, they told me that General Mills was doing random audits and deactivated a bunch of homeschools. I fit all of their requirements and I have no idea why I was deactivated. To say that I am livid is an understatement.

Anyone else deactivated? They didnt even contact me, just did it and I found out when I couldnt login. UGH!!!

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Sandy,

Is your group 501c3 certified? Or registered as a nonprofit in your state? Those are the only 2 things that my group isnt. But I have an EIN # and a bank account and the right number of people in my group. I did reapply, but they told me that chances are I would be denied again. I am so frustrated.

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No, we're not certified, registered or anything else. Just a group of families with a bank account!

 

The group was registered with BoxTops before I arrived 7 years ago, so I really don't know if they jumped through some special hoops or what. We have received between $100-$200 a year--not tons, but for our small group it really helps.

 

I'm so sorry that you are having trouble, and I don't understand the issue.

 

Is there someone higher up the food chain, maybe at General Mills, you can talk with?

 

Just checked the FAQ's again. It says "accredited" homeschool associations. I don't know if my group was grandfathered in or something. Is there such a thing as an "accredidated" homeschool association?

 

Hope you can solve this.

Edited by Sandy in Indy
Having trouble spelling accredited!
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Sandy,

Is your group 501c3 certified? Or registered as a nonprofit in your state? Those are the only 2 things that my group isnt. But I have an EIN # and a bank account and the right number of people in my group. I did reapply, but they told me that chances are I would be denied again. I am so frustrated.

 

We ran into the same thing. The bank won't issue a bank account in an "association name" without some type of tax id or non-profit status. The Boxtop group won't establish an account in an individual's name. Its the combination of these two limiting factors that made it more hassle than its worth for out 10 family group.

 

Bummer..

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I have been jumping through hoops with Boxtops for a week now trying to get my group re-registered.

Today I was told on the phone that its great that I have an EIN # and a bank account in the groups name, but there is no way for them to verify that my homeschool group uses accredited curriculum and how many students I have and what grades they are in.

I explained that there is no way for me to "prove" that the curriculum that we use is accredited. She told me that General Mills wants that as they only give accounts to schools that use accredited curriculum.

I told her that homeschool groups dont have accreditation and that there is no accreditation board. Also, how do I prove how many kids are in the group. I told her how many, even sent her to a yahoo group site that showed her how many and what grades we were and they told me that wasnt good enough. :banghead:

Is anyone else having this problem? I am livid to say the least. I think this is ridiculous.

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We were de-activated a few weeks ago after we were originally registered at the beginning of Sept. We have a bank acct. for our assoc., but we don't have a tax id# or state id#. Hopefully we will soon, but we don't right now. A rep. that I spoke with asked if we also were accredited through the state, meaning approved curriculum, which we aren't. She said basically all we needed was a tax or state #--we'll see. How could most homeschool associations even participate in a program like BTFE when associations like ours doesn't need to have an approved curriculum to operate?! On the other hand, from their standpoint, how else can they verify that we exist for education and not just be a random, non-education group wanting money from Boxtops. I asked the rep. to file an official complaint for me that states they should have been upfront regarding their requirements... Why even say homeschool associations are welcome to participate?... I feel your pain!

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Just checked the FAQ's again. It says "accredited" homeschool associations. I don't know if my group was grandfathered in or something.
and
Is there such a thing as an "accredidated" homeschool association?
Good question!

 

Back at the beginning of Sept. the word "accredited" was not in the FAQ for homeschool associations. I checked back on some personal correspondences in which I directly quoted the FAQ and it was not in the verbiage.

Edited by ChrisB
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Here's a quote from the rules on their website: It is also available to home school associations, containing any class with students from Kindergarten to 8th grade, in the United States organized and operate.
original post

 

It looks like you saw it too ;)

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I have had time to cool down, but I am still frustrated. I jumped through all of their hoops and even called them back after my rant on here to see if I could speak to someone different. It didnt help.

I totally understand them trying to be careful because of fraud, but if you have an EIN # and a bank account in the group name(both things that they can verify), that should be verification enough in my eyes to prove that you aren't a mom turning in boxtops for $. Im still stumped about the whole accreditation thing and I dont think I will be able to let this go if I get denied again as I tried to explain to her 3 times that homeschooling groups dont have to use accredited curriculum since that is all she kept saying to me that they couldnt verify with my group. They either want homeschool groups to participate or not. Now I understand why people just sell the boxtops on EBAY. :mad: Ok...Im done venting for the evening. Thanks for listening.

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so I called once again today and they told me that I have all of the requirements except the fact that I have to prove that I am an accredited homeschool association. What does this even mean? There are no accreditation boards for homeschool groups?

 

Perhaps just tell them you are a recognized homeschool assocation according to the laws in your state, offer your EIN and association name?

 

Have you asked what forms of proof they would like?

 

Another thought, ask for them to send you a copy of the form they need completed; perhaps that will clarify what is the missing piece.

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I did all of that. They have taken my EIN # and bank info 4 times now along with my website. I reminded them that I am not a private school (thinking that might be the problem) and I asked them what proof other homeschool groups offered. They wont give me any info, wont let me speak to a supervisor, wont give me General Mills email or phone number, and keep telling me that they are sorry for my stress, but General Mills only allows accredited homeschool associations to join. UGH!!!!! All they keep saying is that the only piece of info that I am missing is the accreditation. I keep telling them that Florida law doesnt mandate that homeschool groups be accredited, nor do they have an accreditation board for homeschool associations (and I am pretty sure that no state does). She even asked me if the kids enrolled in my group can re-enter public school at any time with no problem and I told her yes.

I think that there is a serious flaw with homeschool associations and boxtops enrollment. I can't be the only one having this problem and I dont even have anyone to complain to. :banghead:

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Clearly there is no national accreditation for homeschoolers; however, other states have laws under which homeschoolers have an umbrella school. It looks different all over the country (as I'm certain you know)

 

Sounds like there is some third box on the registration form that they want a number to fill in. Perhaps offer them the HSLDA membership number from one of your members? Feeling your frustration. Our group gave up over the whole EIN/tax implications/non-profit/bank account issue.

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I did all of that. They have taken my EIN # and bank info 4 times now along with my website. I reminded them that I am not a private school (thinking that might be the problem) and I asked them what proof other homeschool groups offered. They wont give me any info, wont let me speak to a supervisor, wont give me General Mills email or phone number, and keep telling me that they are sorry for my stress, but General Mills only allows accredited homeschool associations to join. UGH!!!!! All they keep saying is that the only piece of info that I am missing is the accreditation. I keep telling them that Florida law doesnt mandate that homeschool groups be accredited, nor do they have an accreditation board for homeschool associations (and I am pretty sure that no state does). She even asked me if the kids enrolled in my group can re-enter public school at any time with no problem and I told her yes.

I think that there is a serious flaw with homeschool associations and boxtops enrollment. I can't be the only one having this problem and I dont even have anyone to complain to. :banghead:

Oh, I'm having the same problem, except we're still in the process of acquiring an EIN. :banghead: is right!! Once we get our EIN, I'll be talking to them again and we'll see how far it can go.

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After 3 weeks of arguments, Im done with Boxtops. I called corporate General Mills and got past the whole "accreditation" thing and they reactivated me, only to deactivate me again within 24 hours stating that my EIN didnt have the correct info. Basically, we arent incorporated, so to GM, we arent an official association.

That was the most stressful 3 weeks of my life. I personally think that they are just making it up as they go along since they had my EIN number on file since Aug. and they were so dead set on the accrediation thing. Now all of a sudden, Im not an association. UGH.

Good luck to those of you who are on this journey with them.

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