Life. Love. Family. Our Perfect Imperfection. Living life as a Catholic, homeschooling family with three amazing, unique boys, a too-oft serious, frustrated and anxious but also loving momma, and a fun-loving, hardworking dad.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Julie says... ;)

I'm going to continue where Crystal left off, school fundraisers. I'm all for them, if they are being done correctly. They are a great way to raise money for our schools and teams, but I think we lose sight of why we do them and how we do them. Some places seem to be taking things a little too far. Our school used to do your usual bake sales during concerts and parent teacher nights. No longer is the day of after school bake sales, it's an everyday thing. The administration realized that they could generate more funds by targeting our children during school hours, when parents aren't there monitoring what is being bought. They started doing "Terrific Tuesdays", where the kiddos could buy an ice cream sandwich during lunch. After learning that technically they weren't suppose to be selling unhealthy treats in the cafeteria due to Michelle Obama's Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFK), so they moved the sales to into the hallway. Seeing how successful the treats during lunch were they started adding more days "Wonderful Wednesdays", "Fantastic Fridays". We now have treats for purchase 5 days a week during lunch hours. Ranging in price from a quarter to $2, your child can buy (depending on the day) cheese filled bread sticks, nachos/pretzels and cheese, cookies, ice cream, freezer pops, chocolate covered pretzels, cupcakes ,or brownies. Approximately 75% of students are buying these treats EVERYDAY. The students (as young as kindergarten) are throwing away their healthy lunches for the chance to be first in line to get the "good stuff" before it's sold out. There is the still the order form fundraisers, chocolate candies, pizza kits, cookie dough, candy bars, and pies.
I remember when I was kid doing maybe one candy sale a year. There were wrapping paper, cards, and holiday themed novelties to be sold also. Whatever happened to hosting a car wash to raise funds for new uniforms?! When did everything start revolving around food?
There are so many non-food related fundraisers. Why not sell a school cookbook (I still have a much used one from when I was in elementary school). Parents/grandparents (or the kids) pay a small fee to have their recipe featured in the cookbook and then the school sells completed cookbooks. They could even have the journalism class do this. School store are great, they shut ours down because they sold candy and chips. What about selling pencils, pens, cool folders, fancy erasers, and notebooks. I know my boys are always losing theirs. Kids are competitive, hold penny wars between classes; whichever class gets the most change earns extra recess. Post pictures 2-4 good spirited teachers (whom have agreed to this) and whichever teacher has the most change in their jar gets pied by the teacher with least amount. You don't have to even have them pied the "winner" could have to wear goofy glasses, hula skirt, fake mustache, or purple hair for a day. Who wouldn't have loved to see their principal wearing a neon pink wig?! My favorite is doing a 5k or Fun Run, this can be done on the school grounds. It gets the family out doing something together and it gets people moving. Top runners get their picture on the cover of the school paper. How about silent auctions? These can be done along side concerts, sport events, conferences.
Some healthier food related fundraisers, holding a school wide spaghetti dinner twice a year (and do a silent auction the same night). The kids get to enjoy a meal with both their family and with their friends. Set up a fruit stand to sell healthy snacks before school or during lunch. At most schools there is usually leftover hot lunch meals, why not sell them a la carte.
I really bothers me how food seems to be the center of everything. That if you sell enough cookie dough, you're class will win a pizza party. Food used as a reward, whatever happened to extra recess or class outside. That's a topic for another day.

What fundraisers does your child/ren's school do? Do you support these fundraisers?