Sunday, March 9, 2008

Timing Is Everything

HM has issues. For real. My #1 son says that on Tuesday, when he will be at the local college representing his school on the Math Team, the other students will be having the reward assembly for the fundraiser. The fundraiser in which I purchased 8 polishing cloths to help him meet his total of 20 items so he could earn whatever prize he had set his sights on. Did I need 8 polishing cloths? Sweet Gummi Mary! It's not like I operate a jewelry store. I need 8 polishing cloths like I need another husband. But it was the cheapest thing in the catalog, and not too heavy to carry on the bus.

Oh, and also on Tuesday, the top sellers will get to ride in a limo to Pizza Hut for lunch. That is wrong. If this scenario plays out, that boy will never sell another item for the school. I've had it.

I do not like the school pimping out my child. I'm sure I've ranted about this before. They have a big fundraiser kick-off, and show the kids prizes, whipping them into a frenzy. Then the prizes come in with the orders, and they are bait-and-switch pieces of junk. The smaller prizes shipped with the orders last month. Like #1 said, "That's not what I put down for my prize, but the guy said we could take it, or he would give us a tub of chocolate chip cookie dough." He still hasn't brought home the dough. Maybe that's what is being handed out Tuesday. #1 said that his math teacher and the counselor are both disgruntled about the timing. They seem to think this could have been done on another day, if the master schedule had been consulted. The math contest has been scheduled that day for the entire school year.

Another issue with this fundraiser is that I don't know what this money is earmarked for. Is it to give plaques to the Spellling Bee finalists? Is it to purchase pizza for the after-school MAP-score-fluffing sessions? Is it to buy embroidered shirts for the faculty? Does it go towards the GameBoys and TVs and MP3s that are awarded in drawings for returning free lunch forms? Does it go into petty cash to fund catered dinners to the faculty on conference nights? I don't like my kids selling so the school can have money.

I have offered a donation several times, instead of buying overpriced fundraiser junk. For example, if I donate $10, isn't that more profitable to the school than if I buy a $5 polishing cloth? Wouldn't that, perhaps, be worth 10 polishing cloth purchases? Not according to the school. A donation of $10 counts as ONE ITEM sold. What if I and 9 friends each donated $1? Would that count as 10 items?

Perhaps my boy should refuse to go to the math contest, and choose to stay at school for the fundraiser awards. How would that look? Would he be punished? I'm betting that some type of retribution would occur, either now or later.

Don't make your kids hawk merchandise for the school, people. Everybody needs to take a stand. Let's stop the widespread pimping of our offspring. It ain't right.

6 comments:

DPA said...

Wait. They give them MP3 players for bringing back free lunch forms? They actually give them expensive free shit for applying for free shit? That is disgusting.

I agree that school fundraisers are bull. I haven't had to face any of those yet. They just bribe our kids with no uniforms for a day when they need a few bucks. It's $3 to get in the front gate in your non-uniform. Of course they're exploiting the kids, but at least they don't charge them to get into their own pep rallies like they did at We B. Retarded High.

I bought a couple of t-shirts with our school's mascot and/or name on them, supposedly to benefit the Beta Club. And I bought some Girl Scout Cookies. I don't think either of those directly benefited the school. I don't mind supporting the Beta Club.

I remember trying to sell Christmas wrapping paper that was way overpriced.

I hope my little young 'un will not participate in selling crap in exchange for crap.

Cazzie!!! said...

We have fund raisers for our school and they spend the dollars on the needed equipment for the new gymnasium that we also fundraised the dollars for to bild the danded thing!
But, every week there is a new letter from each of the kids to sell or buy or go to something to fund raise. Sometimes it drives me nuts!
The idea of rewarding the kids for fundraising is great. But I wonder if it causes a rift between the better off families and the not so well off ones..not everyone could afford 8 washcloths could they? (wink wink :) ). What I mean is, the worse off kids wouldn't get to delight in the limo ride.
What if the school just rewarded the great fundraisers with some equally great novels to read. That would be better than going to Pizza Hut :)
Saying all that, I don;t reckon it IS fair that your boy misses out on what is rightfully his...they ought to change the time of it to suit every one of these kids..say, a Saturday night when they take them out and give the parents a break, haha.

Hillbilly Mom said...

DPA,
Yeah, MP3s. And TVs. And one year it was GameBoys. They must rake in quite a bit of cash from Uncle Sam for each free lunch form processed. They emphazise that EVERYONE should turn one in, even if you know you don't qualify. So there's some sort of kickback for getting them turned in. I'm not doing it anymore. I KNOW we don't qualify, and my kids have never won anything.

I hope your kiddo won't be pushed into service to the Establishment. Around here, it starts in kindergarten, and there are at least two major fundraisers per year.


Cazzie,
They used to say it was for elementary playground equipment, but my oldest kid sold that stuff twice a year for 6 years. Then in 5th grade, they finally got the new equipment and put it in. He was too old to use it then...it was on the little kids' playground.

Oh, and they sell Home Interior candles or some crap. The school gets a portion, and some woman gets another portion. I'll be darned if I'll let my kids sell candles to make some lady a profit.

You're right about the worse off kids. Some have done well, but only if they go door-to-door, which is supposed to be forbidden. Or sometimes their parent will take the form to work and sell there. Some workplaces forbid it, though. My kid sells to relatives and close neighbors and the bowling alley parents and at church. And to ME.

One year, we had a reading contest, and two winners from each grade and two faculty got a Pizza Hut lunch, but no limo. There was no fundraising involved. Pizza Hut must be getting a cut of the action somewhere.

DPA said...

The school in the town where I live (but don't work) has an unlimited budget because of donations and private fundraising. But they're also in the top 5 schools in the state, so people must not mind giving them money. Fortunately, DeadpanAnn Junior will be able to attend that school.

Of course it'll probably go downhill and become another craphole by the time my young'un is ready for school. That tends to happen. They realize that a school is doing really well, and they decide to bus in kids from poor districts that aren't doing so hot. Then the scores nosedive, the money disappears, people start pulling their kids out, and you're left with one more craphole school and a very happy private school somewhere nearby.

Just A Girl said...

Kelly was second place in the cookie dough fund raiser last year. The first place winner was the principle's daughter who is attending out of her own district, heck she doesn't even live in our freaking county.

This year I decided I wasn't doing it. If the school needs money for something I say each parent could send in $20 a semester. I'd gladly do that instead of letting some overpriced cookie dough sit in my fridge for a year.

Hillbilly Mom said...

DPA,
The government is not happy unless it can reduce everyone to the lowest denominator. That is why there are all those programs for the underachievers, and so few for the overachievers.

Gal,
I can't comment on the first part, because my kids live out of the district and can attend because I teach there. Let's just say the district where we live offers a bigger school with more opportunities, but has student behavior and teacher attitude issues. As in, they don't care if kids sleep in class, or if they turn in work.

What I hate are the canned food drives, or other contests where there are one or two kids whose parents bring in a tractor-trailer load of cans the last day. It always comes down to the class these two kids are in.