We’ve seen our share of drives to bring in box tops, but this one has an unusual twist: A pair of middle schools in Westminster, Md., are locked in a collection competition in which the principal of the losing school must wear the winning school’s spiritwear and proclaim that the winning school “rocks.’’

Amy Gromada, principal of West Middle School



East Middle School and West Middle School, which share a typical school rivalry, began this contest on May 1 and have until May 31 to bring in the box tops. So far, East is maintaining a lead over West, reports Mary Bendel-Simso, box tops coordinator at West Middle. The schools must check in with each other on each Tuesday of the month to report their collections numbers.

Bendel-Simso is updating the tallies on a poster in the school lobby with two thermometers featured on it, one for each school.

Bendel-Simso says she came up with the East versus West

Christian Roemer, principal at East Middle School.



idea because she wanted to try a different approach to motivate families to send in their box tops. She of course knew the schools had a rivalry. But she also wanted to find an inexpensive or even no-cost box tops collections prize.

And, she was hoping for some pizazz—or more excitement than the typical pizza party thrown for the winners. When she broached the topic with West Middle’s principal, Amy Gromada, she received a unqualified yes.

“It’s always great to have them behind the idea,’’ she says.

We’ll keep you posted on the competition!