Bracket Busted? Not At Sycamore Junior High!
It’s game on at Sycamore Junior High School.
For the past month, students have been competing in the Pop Tab Tournament to see which class can collect the most aluminum can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. This is the fourth year for the bi-annual March Madness-style tournament put on by Sycamore Junior High Student Council. Students can see who advances on a giant bracket board outside the Media Center.
“Student council’s motto is small things have a big impact,” said Marc Stern, Student Council advisor. “It’s such an easy way to help our community.”
The Ronald McDonald House recycles the tabs from soda cans and raises more than $15,000 yearly to help care for guest families. Thanks in part to all those tabs, families with limited resources are able to stay for little or no cost.
Every first bell class competes. Some team up with other rooms so that all the class sizes are balanced, said Stern.
This week nine classes marched on to the Final Four. So far, they’ve collected about 100 gallons of pop tabs, which equals roughly 500,000 tabs.
“It’s gotten pretty competitive. We even have some kids who have bought pop tabs off eBay,” said Stern.
To make things even more interesting, classes who don’t advance in the bracket are allowed to donate their collections to other classes in exchange for whatever offers they can dream up.
“One of the classes still in it asked my class for our tabs,” said Stern. “My kids decided they wanted a field day, so the other class planning it for them. They’re bringing in snacks, soccer balls, lacrosse sticks so they can have a fun day with their friends.”
The competition goes beyond the classroom. Sycamore Junior High also competes with local middle schools to see who can donate the most tabs. Sycamore was named the Tri-State Champions in 2016 and 2013.