Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fundraising Rant *Updated*

Kids are young and impressionable.  I think this is common knowledge and should come as a shock to no one.  K is particularly excitable.  Imagine if you will and cute, bubbly, little 6 year old racing off the school bus, bounding up the stairs and throwing the door open.  Her first words, "Mom! Guess who came to our school today?"  Of course I'm interested and excited to hear about her day.  "Who?"  Now imagine the feeling of dread at her next words, "Chuck E. Cheese!!"
Of all the. . . you have got to be kidding me!
I knew there was a Chuck E. Cheese fundraiser night coming up.  I'd seen it on the calendar.  I also knew there was no way in he-doublehockeysticks we would be attending fundraiser night.  I'd hoped we could quietly pass by with naught but a sticker reminder on her shirt.  But no.  The school had a giant mouse visit each classroom and hi-5 each kid.  He handed out stickers for "10 free tokens! Free!" to each child and ensured that every child would bounce home to immediately beg to go to Chuck E. Cheese.
These types of things are never an issue with D.  He is practical enough or else jaded enough to know we will not be going to Chuck E. Cheese just because a man in a mouse suit gave him a sticker.  K is quite the opposite.  The mouse came and gave her a sticker.  She is going to eat greasy pizza and play arcade games tonight.
I felt like the consummate villain when I had to break her heart and inform her that we were not actually going to be going to Chuck E. Cheese.  Her entire countenance crumpled along with her body as she hit the floor to hide behind her backpack so I wouldn't see her crying.  Crushed is a good word.
Now I have to be careful because I have friends on the PTA, I like the PTA, I try to support the PTA where I can and feel like I should but I'm not on the PTA.  I have four kids - two who are school aged and attend different schools, one in preschool and a nursing infant.  I have a busy husband who gone more than home in the evenings.  I'm not complaining, just explaining why I feel unable to serve on the PTA right now and only serve by helping where I can (which seems like even less when you divide it in 2).   However, I take issue with such pointed marketing to a captive, underage, impressionable audience.  As if the sales packet they bring home encouraging them to earn cool prizes by selling stuff to their neighbors (who all have students in the school) and family members (who all live 1,000 miles or more away) aren't bad enough, we are now bringing in cartoon characters to encourage parents to spend money to "support our school".
 I support my school by participating in events, pay my taxes, helping in the classroom.  If my student's teacher needs something, ask.  Chances are I will provide (unless you are asking for something insanely expensive).  But please don't tell my kid they are going to Chuck E. Cheese and all her friends will be there. This just makes me want to break something -- besides my child's heart.

I heard from my friend in the PTA that Mr. Cheese did not actually enter the school.  Rather he was outside giving hi-5's when the kids walked to the buses and such.  This is much better than personal visits to each classroom!  Still a giant mouse trying to convince my kid to convince me to spend money on crappy food and games.  But at least he didn't use class time to do it.
Also, I really do understand that fundraisers are necessary.  I just hate them. And I don't believe I'm in the minority.  So, necessary? Yes.  Chuck E Cheese? NO  And I think I'm just going to start sending the money directly to the PTA instead of buying a payback book that we never use or cookie dough that is meh good anyway.


Valerie said...

I loathe school fundraisers. We do not participate in the door to door selling of things. The only ones we did participate in were the once a year auctions when we attended CCS. And that was because the PARENTS were responsible for it, and never EVER involved the kids. It took a lot of planning and parent involvement to make it a success, but since it raised around $20K a year it was well worth the effort.

I wouldn't take my kids to Chuck E Cheese on a night I knew it would be crowded either. Good for you for not getting pressured into it.

Melanie said...

ha ha ha...totally on the same page. Totally with you. Poor K though. Life lessons can be really rough sometimes.

The Harbertson Family said...

AMEN! Very well said!

Macey said...

Couldn't have said it better myself! My kids think I'm the worst parent ever because we don't do the magazine sells, and the wrapping paper sells, and so on and so forth. Because, of course all their friends are doing it and a player from the Green Bay Packers will be at school for those who've earned enough money. Those who haven't will have to hang out in a classroom while the assembly is going on. Oh yeah, we get the manipulation on this end too! Brings out great anger in me!