Rewards For A Better Choice

An Earn-and-Learn Program for Smarter Kids

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Rewards for A Better Choice?

Rewards for A Better Choice™ is an innovative earn-and-learn program sponsored by ABCs for Smarter Kids Inc ("ABCs"), a non-profit corporation formed to qualify under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) and currently pursuing recognition of that status with the Internal Revenue Service. The mission of ABCs is to promote the values of healthy living, humane treatment of animals, fair trade, and sustainability of the environment through educational resources and financial assistance.

How does the Rewards for A Better Choice program work?

Parents purchase qualifying products, clip the respective UPC barcodes, and turn them in to their school coordinator. Twice a year, coordinators from schools across the country send their UPCs to ABCs for collecting, counting and recording. ABCs sends a product-specific collection report to each participating company. Based on UPCs collected, companies make contributions to ABCs. A significant portion of the company contributions is then distributed back to participating schools as a cash reward for parents purchasing products representing a better choice.

Which products qualify for the Rewards for A Better Choice program?

ABCs accepts products that are third party certified as environmentally sustainable, organic, non-GMO, supportive of fair trade or humane treatment of animals. A product only needs one certification to qualify. Approved certification organizations include 1% for the Planet, Certified Humane, EcoCert, Fair for Life, Fair Trade Federation, Fair Trade USA, Fairtrade Foundation, Forest Stewardship Council, Green America, Leaping Bunny, Non-GMO Project, Rainforest Alliance, and USDA Organic.

How much does it cost to participate in the Rewards for A Better Choice program?

Companies decide how much they wish to contribute to ABCs based on the collection of UPCs from purchased products. Of the contribution amount, ABCs retains a small portion to cover its program expenses, and the remainder of the company's contribution is distributed to participating schools as part of the Rewards for A Better Choice™ grant program.

What is the timing for the UPC collections, reporting and remitting process?

    UPC collections will commence in 2014 and follow this calendar schedule:
  • Cut-off date for UPC collections from schools: March 1st, November 1st
  • UPC collection reports due to companies: April 8th, December 8th
  • Company contribution due to ABCs: April 15th, December 15th
  • Checks sent to schools from ABCs: April 30th, December 30th

Is Rewards for A Better Choice a national program?

Yes. Schools across the country are invited to participate in our program and we are reaching out to them nationwide. Qualifying products, however, are not required to have national distribution.

Are companies required to change their product packaging to participate in the Rewards for A Better Choice program?

Not initially. ABCs understands the additional costs incurred by manufacturers in changing their product packaging so we are not requiring any special branding in 2014. However, in the future, we believe all participating companies will benefit from a common branding that helps consumers recognize their products as representing a better choice.

Do UPCs need to be clippable?

Yes. Currently, ABCs only accepts products with UPCs that consumers can easily cut with scissors. However, we are evaluating other collection options for products with UPCs printed on glass, metal or hard plastic for the future.

Why is Rewards for A Better Choice structured as a UPC clipping program?

Rewards for A Better Choice was structured as a UPC clipping program based on feedback from parents and school leaders across the country. They cited several advantages to a clipping program over other forms of redemption: clipping is more widely accepted by schools, it is more inclusive for participants, implementation is easier, clipping fosters more buy-in from parents, it more effectively reinforces brand loyalty to participating companies and products, and the actual process of clipping and redeeming the UPCs engages both children and parents in an interactive teaching opportunity to talk about why qualifying products represent a better choice.

How does ABCs identify participating companies and products for parents and schools?

We have several ways to let parents and schools know about the participating companies and products across the country: companies and products will be listed on our website, featured on flyers used by schools to inform parents about the program, acknowledged in our e-newsletters, and highlighted through social media. Parents can also download our free ABCs mobile app to use in their local stores to identify participating products while they are shopping.

What other opportunities are available?

ABCs offers other opportunities to interested companies associated with this program. To inquire about these opportunities, please contact Amy Hull Brown, Founder & Executive Director, at amy@abcs4sk.org for more details.

Can I include the ABCs logo and/or Rewards for A Better Choice name?

Yes. Upon approval for the Rewards for A Better Choice program, participating companies have permission to use our logos and imaging to assist them in identifying participating products to their customers.

Is it really that simple?

Yes, it really is that simple. We like to call it a “no-brainer”. We want to create a win-win situation where companies are recognized for their efforts in producing products that support the values of environmental sustainability, fair trade and humane treatment of animals, schools are rewarded with cash contributions, parents and schools are rewarded with educational materials, and ultimately, children benefit from creating a healthier planet for the future, all because they made a better choice!

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