Fundraising in Elementary Schools: Preying on Kids' Fear of Being Left Out

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My daughter came home from school on Friday with a packet of information that no parent wants to receive. It's time for the annual school fall fundraiser!

I do not like fundraisers and hate selling things. I think it stems back to when I was young and my mother had me go door to door selling boxes of candy for Camp Fire. The goal was to sell 100 boxes. I rang a lot of door bells until I met the quota. Granted, my mother was the leader of our Camp Fire group and felt like we had to meet the goal. (Camp Fire is a youth group kind of like the Girl Scouts.)

Back to my daughter's fundraiser. So, I'm reading the information, and I found a sheet saying that kids who sell 31 items will get to wear regular clothes to school (instead of uniforms) one day and have a pizza party during school. The kids who don't sell the 31 items will wear uniforms and will not attend the pizza party. Forgive me if I sound like I'm over reacting, but this does not sound right at all.

I also pulled out a form saying that if you don't want to sell items and still want your kid to get the prize, you can write out a check for $200. Ouch.

I think this is wrong for the following reasons

1. The kids who don't sell enough are going to feel left out. They're going to see the other kids not wearing uniforms and going to pizza parties, and they are going to feel bad. The kids in my daughter's class are five- and six-years-old. At this age, they will feel left out.

Fundraising in Elementary Schools: Preying on Kids' Fear of Being Left Out
Credit: mosaic36.

2. It's like the school is trying to guilt parents into selling 31 items or giving $200. It sounds like they are hoping the parents will want their kids to get the prize so their kid does not feel left out.

3. They are letting the kids have the prize during school hours. I would feel completely different if the pizza party was after school or during the evening.

4. This school has uniforms to eliminate the distraction of regular clothes during class. This is not my opinion, but it says this in the school's parent/student hand book. I think this is going to be a distraction. The school needs to follow its own rules. They should not bend the rules because they want to make money.

I want to write a letter to the head of this fundraiser, but I'm scared. I'm afraid that the school will label me as a "crazy parent." What do you think?


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