To the Editor:

Recently a friend shared this quote from Albert Einstein, "Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."

We can probably all find a million applications for this in our own lives, but we can also apply it to the one thing many of us in New Milford have in common¦ the ever shrinking school budget.

Although a smaller budget can definitely cause discord, like Einstein suggested, we can find a harmonious solution. In fact, in the middle of this very difficult situation, an opportunity for all of us to help is right in front of us.

There is a program called Box Tops for Education that five of the six New Milford schools participate in.

This program allows us to earn cash the schools can use as they see fit. Each school could earn more than $40,000 a year.

Each school's PTO is in charge and decides how to spend the money.

The "clip" program is by far the most heavily supported. There are little pink Box Tops on hundreds of items we all buy every single day. Each month, the list seems to expand.

For a full list, go to www.btfe.com. You could also print high-value coupons from the site.

I have had quite a few students tell me they don't have many box tops. However, collectively, Sarah Noble students have managed to collect more than $2,700 of these little pink box tops so far this year.

What's even more interesting, only 20 percent of the students turned in box tops. Imagine what we could collect if the remaining 80 percent turned in just 20 a year. We could add another $1,600 without even trying.

Or, imagine everyone in town who have box tops take the time to turn them in to one of the participating schools.

What a cash windfall for our schools that would be. And it wouldn't have cost you one candle, wrapping paper or box of cookies.

Another way to greatly increase the amount of money a school can earn is by shopping through the Box Tops Marketplace. If you shop online, it's likely at least one of the stores you shop at participates.

You would go to www.btfe.com, find the "EARN" tab, click the "shop marketplace" tab and choose the store at which you want to shop.

The schools instantly earn a percent of what you spend, up to $20,000 a year. Plus, you can still use all of your coupon codes.

Box Tops has also just introduced yet another earning opportunity. By registering a Shop Rite card at www.shopriteshoponcegivetwice.com, the school can earn box tops to be submitted right to its e-account.

In addition, the Box Tops on the items you purchased can still be submitted. It only takes two minutes.

Sarah Noble has a goal of collecting $5,000 of box tops from now until Oct. 31. Can you help us reach our goal?

For a list of participating products or for any questions, please email leahforsnis@yahoo.com.

Please also continue to send us your Campbell's points and ink cartridges. Those are very much appreciated as well.

The address to send Box Tops is Leah Rodriguez c/o SNIS, 25 Sunny Valley Road, New Milford, CT 06776.

Leah Rodriguez

New Milford