If Mommy and Daddy give enough, you get a toy??
September 24, 2009 1:17 PM   Subscribe

Isn't Pre-K too early to use a kid for fundraising? Especially teasing him/her with toys and prizes?

OK so I'm new at having kids in school. And I was aware that people try really hard to use our little ones to raise money. But tell me if I am overreacting about this.

Thing 1 is in Pre-K. He loves it, which is great. They are having a third annual Fall Festival fundraising event for the Make-A-Wish Foundation®, great. Here's what happened when my wife dropped off Thing 1 this morning.

One of his classmates was inconsolably crying, just beside himself. Really, really miserable she said. Apparently his Dad had forgotten to bring money for donating. There's a chart on the wall -- a bar graph -- with each kid's name, showing how much their parents had donated...and incrementally, the toys and prizes that the kids can win depending on the amount of donations! It's a competition.

This is Georgia pre-K. The kids are four years old. Do the teachers expect them to go door to door asking for donations? I don't think most four-year-olds have more than a very basic concept of money -- they think their parents can afford anything they want. I think it is asking waaay too much to expect kids this young to understand the way this works and see it as a situation over which they have any control.

"Don't worry," the teacher told the boy, "your Daddy has plenty of time to go get some money."

Thing 1 didn't care, just went on eating his oatmeal. Until this afternoon when my wife complained to the teacher about the bar graph. The kids in the class don't exactly read yet, but they recognize their own names (and have been taught to, for weeks), and they understand progress meters/bar graphs probably a lot better than we did at that age (loading...xx% complete).

"This is how it is all through school," the teacher told my wife. "Better get him used to it now."

Is this not unethical? And irresponsible?
posted by rahnefan to Education (46 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, yes, and yes. You can certainly refuse to do it, but get used to the near-constant barrage of requests to do this.

But it's a constant. Fundraising is something the schools are forced to do.
posted by unixrat at 1:21 PM on September 24, 2009

I would refuse to participate and insist the teacher take my child's name down from the leaderboard.

posted by General Tonic at 1:22 PM on September 24, 2009 [4 favorites]

Yeah, that's lame.
posted by zeoslap at 1:22 PM on September 24, 2009

Gross. I'd find a different school, myself, since this one's clearly pretty awful at handling 4-year old psyches.
posted by rokusan at 1:25 PM on September 24, 2009 [4 favorites]

Complain to the school board. keep complaining.
posted by theora55 at 1:27 PM on September 24, 2009 [9 favorites]

No kid in school yet, and I think that's ridiculous.
posted by zizzle at 1:27 PM on September 24, 2009

Just a reminder that it's generally NOT the teacher instituting these policies. They're handed down by school administration and some schools rank teacher performance on these items.

So the poor teachers are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Please have some mercy on your teacher. :)
posted by unixrat at 1:29 PM on September 24, 2009

Is it too early for fundraising? In a word, no--schools need money.

Is this unethical and irresponsible? Well, putting the kids' names on the chart and pitting them against each other is, in my opinion. Personally, I would talk to the teacher about this. Though they do need the money (and kids do like the crappy plastic toys they "earn" from "raising money", which really means their parents hitting up people in their workplaces), there has to be a better way than publicly shaming kids whose parents do not donate.

If it were me, I'd make a big donation on behalf of the entire class, and have them try to figure that one out on their big chart--but I recognize this may not be financially possible for you to do right now.

Oh, and if I were the crying boy's parents, I'd be royally pissed by the emotional blackmail.
posted by misha at 1:29 PM on September 24, 2009 [5 favorites]

Personally, I was never allowed to participate in school fundraisers. Okay, once, when I was in middle school, one of the prizes was an adorable stuffed hedgehog, so I asked my mom if she'd please just donate the $10 so I could get the hedgehog, and she agreed... But that was it (And I actually messed up and turned the $10 in on the wrong day, meaning that I didn't get the hedgehog at all and actually got a stupid CD case, and grr, that still annoys me). The rest of my school-aged life was filled with Special Assemblies!!! and Information Packets!!! And Reward Days!!! and tons of other things that I was told to simply ignore, forget, and not care about. This is because my mom really didn't like the idea in general that I should be pressured into pressuring the adults around me into giving money. As an adult, I tend to think she was right.

...But the thing is, kids are good at getting money from adults. And it's really easy to motivate a kid with something as cheap as a stupid stuffed hedgehog. And schools really do need money from any source they can find. So fundraisers like this really will be part of your kid's life for the rest of his school-going days.

Personally, I wouldn't think you'd be out of place complaining to the school about the emphasis this is getting for such young kids... That really does seem to be pretty grotesque, to me. But the teacher probably is right: it's probably something you should figure out to handle with your child individually, given how it's going to be a staple of his education from here on out.
posted by Ms. Saint at 1:35 PM on September 24, 2009

This is disgusting. First using children to do fundraising is always obnoxious, this is orders of magnitude worse because the child is not emotionally mature enough to care about the fund raising on his own, so really this is a ploy to have the kid wear down the parents about the toy and coerce them into donating.

Second, what the hell business is it of this school to raise money for some other non-profit group? Shouldn't they be raising money for things for the actual students.

Also this is raising my blood pressure:
"This is how it is all through school," the teacher told my wife. "Better get him used to it now."

Oh, yes. Because see, they aren't really educating your children. They are training them to be impulse buyers and retail salesmen.

Go in tomorrow, tear down the chart in front of all the teachers and the administration, and say:

"I'm raising my children to have a healthy disrespect for authority, so I'm teaching by example. This is how he's going to act all through school, so you'd better get used used to it now."

Then explain to your kid that they are using the toy prize as a way to trick the kids into making mom and dad give money to the school. Make sure you emphasize that the school is "tricking" them. 4-years olds are too young to understand promotion, incentives, financial motivation, etc. But they understand the concept of being tricked, fooled, or lied too. If you explain this now, that promotions and advertising are "tricks" to get money, you will forever inoculate your kids against advertising. No kid wants to be tricked.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:35 PM on September 24, 2009 [17 favorites]

I think we are much angrier than the crying boy's father was. Likely he was embarrassed. Georgia Pre-K is a free program; there is no reason at all to assume that all these kids' parents have a penny to spare.

My boy has a wallet, which I keep for him. When he gets gift money or a quarter for helping out, he gets to choose between the piggy bank and the wallet. When we go to the store, we take his wallet, and if he sees something he wants, guess who pays for it? He does, out of his wallet. So we are teaching him. But does he really get it yet? Heck no, he's only counted to twenty a couple of times without help...how can he understand money enough for this kind of thing?

Worst case scenario, the bar graph makes some kids feel less valuable or deserving than others, with money as the bottom line. I must say, if your goal is to raise natural capitalists, it's probably pretty darn clever.

I could breathe fire right now...but coworkers assure me, it will only get worse as the years go down.
posted by rahnefan at 1:38 PM on September 24, 2009 [7 favorites]

A responsible way to handle children in this circumstance would be to make it a team effort, where they all cooperate and achieve a goal together. Pitting them against each other is blindingly stupid.

That a teacher/administrator/schoolboard could not know this scares me.

I love your wallet/bank system. Good parenting +1!
posted by rokusan at 1:41 PM on September 24, 2009 [3 favorites]

Is it too early for fundraising? In a word, no--schools need money.

The money isn't going to the school. It's going to a gigantic national organization whose CEO makes $325,000 a year and is sitting on $17 million in assets. They spend $0.15 on overhead for every dollar they bring in.

Schools are not sales training grounds. This isn't a bake sale to raise money for cheerleader uniforms or so the band can attend the Rose Bowl. Not one penny of the money raised is going to the kids raising it. It is disgusting that a school, especially for young children is putting this much emphasis on a fucking hustle.

Why don't you ask the principal to put up a chart showing how many of the 4-year olds can read or do basic addition? That way parents and the school are tracking something that is meaningful.

Don't get me wrong. Charity is important, but the motivation for giving should be compassion and altruism. Not material self-interest.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:43 PM on September 24, 2009 [13 favorites]

Highly, highly, inappropriate. I'd complain to the teacher, the school board, the local papers, and try to get other parents involved too.

What's particularly galling is that there are plenty of simple ways they could tweak the campaign to avoid this mess. Raffles, for example, are anonymous, but have a reward incentive for those who spend more (and would be geared to the parents). Perhaps you could volunteer to come up with an alternative for them?

And since this is charity fundraising rather than for the school itself, perhaps suggest something more tangible and meaningful for kids this age in the future? Something like a food drive would be much more age-appropriate. Preschoolers aren't going to understand money donations (and the idea that donation = shiny toy misses the point completely), but they would understand giving food to hungry people.
posted by susanvance at 1:47 PM on September 24, 2009

I love your wallet/bank system. Good parenting +1!
posted by rokusan at 4:41 PM on September 24

I agree completely. That wallet system is genius.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:50 PM on September 24, 2009

I feel your pain, and you're right -- it probably will only get worse as the years go on. But it definitely will if you don't complain about it to the people in charge and make all the good points that those on here are making about why this is a bad idea and something that the school should not be organizing for a third party non-profit -- no matter how good the cause.

So your options are:

1) teach your kid what is right and wrong and raise them right


2) try to change things at the school by continuing to complain to folks other than the teacher (who is probably only following orders from on high)


3) demand that your kid be pulled from the program.

I'm assuming you'll do #1 by default, and it sounds like you already are. #2 is your call and may feel like beating your head against the wall but it may make you feel better -- and it seems like you may be giving a voice to an issue that other's may not feel comfortable making given your description of the situation. It may also make your kid feel like he's the odd on out -- as might #3 -- but if you explain it to him right, it might be a valuable lesson.

Good luck. As somone who never thinks of such things, this whole scenario sounds like it sucks and is one of the hidden benefits of not being allowed to easily have children.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:51 PM on September 24, 2009

I must have skimmed over the Make-A-Wish Foundation reference upon first reading this, and it's ridiculous. Fundraising efforts should go to the kids in the classroom and the teachers (most teachers I know supplement classroom supplies with their own income).

Who is deciding what fundraisers they are doing at your pre-school? Do you have a PTA or PTSA? Can you get the parents to band together and let the teachers know how offensive and insensitive you feel this chart is?

I would also point out that, in this economy, any superfluous fundraising (not for the school itself) is merely taking money away from the school down the road and they should re-think this strategy.
posted by misha at 1:58 PM on September 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Speak with the school administration and if that gets you nowhere, gather some like-minded parents and try again. If that doesn't work, take your mob to board meetings and raise a stink.

Fundraising is indeed an entrenched part of k-12 education but you have every right to insist that children and their families be given an option to opt-out without being publicly shamed or excluded. You probably won't get the school to stop running fundraising programs but you can persuade the school to not track or display any kind of per student fundraising totals and instead to post their progress to goal by the entire school or at the very most, by grade level.

As a side rant, I find commercial fundraising programs especially distasteful (the cookie dough, candy, wrapping paper, candles, etc.) as the companies who run the programs rarely shares more than 50% of the profit with the school, with 25% being a generous average. I've refused to allow my son to participate in any of these programs: in the past, I've written a check directly to the school for an approximate amount my son might have sold (bonus: the school gets 100% of the money + I get a tax write off if I make out the check to the school's affiliated non-profit foundation). The only time my son was bummed out about missing out on a prize, I had him google the prize and when he discovered it cost all of $2 (and would take something like selling 25 rolls of giftwrap), he blurted out "What a rip off."
posted by jamaro at 2:05 PM on September 24, 2009 [6 favorites]

I agree that it's too early to have them fundraising and dangle toys out like that. I get offended that they do it with my third grader, especially since in many areas the kids are specifically asked *not* to go door to door or solicit strangers. The fact is, my family, my husband's family, and my ex and his family have been in hard times since before the financial crisis hit everyone. We buy a few things so he can compete, but he's not going to be winning the top-seller prizes as a kid, and the system makes the divide between the rich kids and the poor kids that much worse. At least when I was a kid, Mom and Dad could take the sales flyers in to work, but a lot of workplaces don't allow that any more.

That said, I have never seen a school put up the kind of chart you're talking about. I would be livid. That's the kind of thing we did in high school, when a motivated seller could decide on his own to go out and make the sales, and in adult work places, where there's something like a level playing field. Doing it to kids is going to create even more stigma than just "who earned the nicer toy."
posted by Cricket at 2:16 PM on September 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

I would say go to you school board. IN pre k that is not right and teaching them the WRONG things about money.
posted by majortom1981 at 2:17 PM on September 24, 2009

"This is how it is all through school," the teacher told my wife. "Better get him used to it now."
How about "get him used to it" when it's age appropriate? Ugh. What else should you be "getting him used to now"? Do they give him 3 hours of homework a night too?

This is just another vote for no, you're not over-reacting. It's a bad idea for the kids AND a bad idea for the school and would make me wonder what is in the heads of these people.
posted by amethysts at 2:24 PM on September 24, 2009

Fundraising is indeed an entrenched part of k-12 education but you have every right to insist that children and their families be given an option to opt-out without being publicly shamed or excluded.

This. The fundraising event in question does not even benefit the school itself--there's no good reason to rank students (and their families) based on whose parents are willing to shell out the most for Make A Wish or whatever other charity is chosen.

I think there's a case to be made for asking older kids to participate in fundraising activities that benefit their school, but this particular situation is absolutely ridiculous--the kids are too young to understand, there's no good reason to strong-arm parents into giving to Make A Wish rather than their preferred charity, it's completely unfair to reward certain pre-schoolers for their parents' generosity and seemingly punish others for their parents' choice not to donate, etc. etc.
posted by Meg_Murry at 2:40 PM on September 24, 2009

I'm appalled and think you should raise a stink at the local papers as well as the school board.
posted by dabitch at 3:29 PM on September 24, 2009 [3 favorites]

I guess it's good "work experience" or whatever it is that kids have to put on their resumes by the time they turn eight.

Do you have a parent list for the classroom? I'd try to engage the other parents in gentle conversation and just get their reaction to it. Then maybe you all can write a letter and complain to the school board and to the Make-A-Wish foundation.
posted by anniecat at 3:29 PM on September 24, 2009

This is ridiculous. In addition to raising a stink, if you're anywhere close to the Atlanta metro, toss a short description (include juicy details) to the AJC. The school board might not care about this until a little sunshine hits it.
posted by toomuchpete at 3:55 PM on September 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Disgusting. They should be ashamed. You are right to be upset.
posted by kathrineg at 4:17 PM on September 24, 2009

That's outrageous and "it gets worse" does not make it acceptable!
posted by Bergamot at 4:17 PM on September 24, 2009

No, you are not overreacting. This is not an appropriate classroom approach for pre-K (and I have my doubts about whether it's OK at any age). It's especially mind-boggling considering that the funds raised don't even go to the kids at that school.

I'd raise it with the school's administration (i.e. vice-principal and principal), and then if that got me nowhere I'd go to the school board. Maybe the parents' advisory committee, if there is one.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:31 PM on September 24, 2009

A bit of a chatfilter question it seems, but yes this is irresponsible.

My solution: we homeschool. Not having to deal with this stuff is a huge advantage. When we need money we'll set up a small business that my kids can help with. As a result:

1) You get paid more directly without the middleman/prizes/candy.
2) You sell things based on their value to others, not out of a sense of obligation to the salesperson.
3) You learn something more useful than how to be a door-to-door salesperson (or how to ask your folks to sell things at the office). And isn't learning the point of education?
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 4:33 PM on September 24, 2009

It's only chatfilter if you use it as an excuse to proselytize homeschooling, which is not a part of the OPs question.

The OP is in a difficult situation where there are children who are being enlisted to participate in a fundraiser that does not even benefit them. As if schools were not underfunded enough, Make-A-Wish has to park their keister on four year-olds? Not only not benefitting the school, but to create a humiliating environment of comparison and free toys (for some)? And this has been going on for three years?!

Reprehensible, and it sucks, but if nobody is going to push back against those above them (who knows where this idiotic idea started) then it's going to fall to the parents to say "no." Somebody has to if everybody else is cowed. Seriously, this is the kind of thing I think School Board members (or whomever) should have to resign for. Disgusting.
posted by rhizome at 4:49 PM on September 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

That's maddening. I've had my kids in pre-K since they were two and a half, and they just started a different school; the first was pay, the new one is free, and neither does anything like this. Parents need to go to the staff and make it clear that using their children for this is terrible; it's already bad enough they'll have to feel bad about their relative socioeconomic status as they grow up, why push the issue now? So what rhizome says, definitely.

And don't think being four is somehow "too young" to be impacted; we've been using sticker charts and marble jars as motivational tools since before they were three, and you're damn right they understand what's going on. Hell, it's how my kids learned to count over sixty (counting their marbles, specifically.) Which is fine, if it's something they control, but money isn't something they control, but they see this chart that makes them feel bad about something they don't even understand (the money) -- I'm going to stop typing now, this whole thing just makes me angry.
posted by davejay at 5:48 PM on September 24, 2009

Just wait till your child brings home a "sample". This often happens with the $25 coupon books some PTOs sell. They send home the book and expect you to either pay for the book or to send it back (In perfect condition) on a specific date.

I'm all for supporting my local schools - they support the community in a multitude of areas. However, this kind of tactic or when the funding is only tenuously connected to the school is really too much.

Unfortunately it does get worse, but thankfully so does everything else...so problems concerning fund raising will slowly drift into the background.

All that being said, I still think a public school environment is still the best bet in town...These are the kids your kids will be working with in the future, isn't it better for them to get a better understanding of the world and especially their peers when the stakes aren't so high. With support from home all of these issues just become lessons.
posted by NoDef at 6:03 PM on September 24, 2009

No, not cool. The chart on the wall is outrageous- if there's any competition at all, it should be between classrooms/grade levels.

I am a teacher and I hate (hate, HATE) those fundraisers. The best thing the PTA at the middle school I teach at has ever done was run the numbers and realize we weren't earning all *that* much from the gift wrap/whatever sales. They then tried a brand-new fund-raising project: they just asked for checks. Most families will donate $5-$10 when hit up at open house, and in the first year they tried it they earned something like twice as much as they ever earned from the sales-oriented fundraising, without all the assemblies and disruption and general bullshit that comes with that. The money goes into a grant pool that funds various projects, activities and other "extras" around the school.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:15 PM on September 24, 2009 [3 favorites]

Nodef, I am certain that future problems will be more tangible and have fewer solutions than this; but does that make them worse than mentally abusing a four-year-old?

This is not only a problem of questionable fundraising. The bigger issue, as evidenced by Thing 1's crying classmate, is that the kids understand only just enough to feel the kind of pressure that a four-year-old should not feel - being openly compared to classmates in a situation they don't understand well enough to do anything about. So the stakes are very high indeed. Some kids may come away from this feeling entitled, some might feel hopeless, and some of them may be permanently branded with pressure to be obedient cogs in someone else's machine. That is not an understanding of the world that I want my boys to have. Some kids might not think of it at all, as far as you can tell. Until --

Tonight Thing 1 was lingering over a junkmail toy catalog, particularly on Spike the Ultra Dinosaur. I explained that Spike costs a lot of money. His response, I kid you not, was: "I'll just ask everybody I know for money."

Calmly I explained that this was not a nice thing to do. He countered with "but please and thank you is nice." Yes it is, I said, but people work hard for their money, and you can't just go asking them for it, you need to earn it yourself. Our final plan was that he would save up for it. But the damage is very obviously already done.

So despite the years (yes, years) I've been discussing concepts like these, now that he's observed one stupid bar graph with shiny trinkets and the breakdown his classmate had, and others meekly bringing in their baggies of money, I'm having to fight for the freedom and dignity of my son's mind. Somehow without disparaging his teachers right in front of him.

I like what Pastabagel said about telling him that a trick has been played on the kids, but who played the trick? Honestly, if not his teachers, who are the only ones there in his mind, then who played the trick? If I understand correctly, each classroom is keeping track of donations as they will, so unless/until I learn differently, the chart is a unique creation of Thing 1's teachers. I hope my wife is wrong about that; I want to believe it's a mistake from elsewhere in the chain. We'll know tomorrow.

Do we like his teachers otherwise? Yes. Is he learning lots of things from them, rapidly? Yes. Is he happy at school? Yes. Would we continue sending him if one of them physically abused him? No, not ever again, and there'd be hell to pay. Is it any less abusive to display a graph that clearly tells some kids "your friends are all better and more deserving than you" and mine "you can have anything you want if you whine enough?" They are four.

If a small kid is around to observe anything you do or say, then you are teaching whether you mean to or not. That's the way they are made -- there's a lesson in everything they see. This chart is a very bone headed idea and I'm nearly inclined to pull my boy out.
posted by rahnefan at 10:32 PM on September 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

misha -- my wife offered to make a big donation on behalf of the entire class, to even things out so that the stupid chart would be moot. They refused to distribute it that way.
posted by rahnefan at 10:42 PM on September 24, 2009

Another plus for private schools! At least when you write the check, you know what you're paying for. Hint: it's not for your child to be harrassed about their parents not putting enough in the pot.
posted by littleredwagon at 6:56 AM on September 25, 2009

They started too young, yes, but they'll never stop.

Schools raise funds ceaselessly these days. So do Cub/Boy/Girl Scouts, churches, sports leagues (we receive raffle tickets each season, the price of whch were bundled into our registraiton feee, which we can keep or sell "as we wish" -- oh, please, to who, the other parents in town?), school band, school sports teams, etc. etc.

My wife & I resist this as much as we can. We don't let the kids sell the stuff to family or neighbors, except for Girl Scout Cookies since people ask us for them. My parents let me swing in the wind when I was a kid, becoming a "burden" on my classroom's thermometer-graph-of-money year after year. (Ugh, SPAFF -- the worst part of high school.) We cushion it a little hen we can: for example, last week my son took part in a group sales event for the Cub Scouts -- but we won't send him out on the street.

There are often other ways to achieve the same ends. The Scout pack says kids who sell a certain amount of stuff each year get their dues waived. I just pay his dues.

So you can talk to the person at the top in the school; the teachers are getting pressure and they might not take it well if you tear down their poster and denounce something that they might not like themselves.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:57 AM on September 25, 2009

misha -- my wife offered to make a big donation on behalf of the entire class, to even things out so that the stupid chart would be moot. They refused to distribute it that way.

Wow...sickening, really.

Tell your son:

"Right now I am mad at your teachers. They are making a mistake. They are trying to get money for a good cause, but they are not doing it in the right way. Every child is valuable and the teachers aren't doing a good job of showing that. What should I do?"

Then your child will have an idea, maybe not. It will help your child to think about what to do when he's mad. Then you can say:

"Because I am mad at them, I am going to tell them I am mad at them. I am not going to yell at them or be mean to them, but I am going to explain why I am mad. I hope they will change their behavior, but they might not."

Might as well turn it into a lesson about forgiveness...
posted by kathrineg at 7:26 AM on September 25, 2009 [6 favorites]

I'd definitely complain to the Make-A-Wish foundation and inform them that you will be notifying the local media. This is truly revolting to me, and I don't even have kids. There is no way I'd give a dime to that organization after hearing about this, and I'd bet a lot of others would feel the same if this was broadcast on local TV. Local media LOVES to do stories like this.

Another plus for private schools! At least when you write the check, you know what you're paying for. Hint: it's not for your child to be harrassed about their parents not putting enough in the pot.

Not true. My (Catholic) private high school had fundraisers (for the school, not outside charities) and we were pitted against each other. However, we were IN HIGH SCHOOL. I went to public grade schools, so I don't know whether they do the same thing there.
posted by desjardins at 8:08 AM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

My wife spoke to the director this morning and she was totally on board, and said the chart would be coming down from the wall today.
posted by rahnefan at 9:46 AM on September 25, 2009 [4 favorites]

That's great news. I was going to chime in late to say "yep, totally fucked up."

And wow, a pretty-much unanimous AskMe is quite a feat.)
posted by desuetude at 9:03 PM on September 25, 2009

The reality is that it's a good thing my wife handled this. I would have wanted to explain each and every way that this is evil; I would have sternly informed them that they now have a fight on their hands. Instead she focused on the fact that the kids are too young to be thrust into this sort of competition, or to understand what giving is really about when prizes are part of the equation, and primarily on the fact that most of the kids almost certainly are in low-income families. She became emotional but not the same way I would have.

Ahh, it solved part of the problem anyway...I still hate it that people will continue to shanghai our kids into their schemes, and absolutely despise how people can be so blaise about it.

If anyone's curious, the parent company of this school is Learning Care Group. They've raised over $5 million to date for Make-A-Wish.


But it was definitely Thing 1's teachers' idea to do the chart that way, not the school or Make-A-Wish. :( They've replaced it with a chart representing how close they are to getting a pizza party for the whole class.
posted by rahnefan at 10:18 PM on September 25, 2009

I'm still fuming from the mental picture of a sobbing 4-year old, and hearing that the teachers won't accept your wife's generous donation to even thins out pisses me off even more. So I blogged and tweeted this link http://bit.ly/2ShcnO <- short one, to shine a light on the matter. Everyone pissed off by this should pass it on. I sincerely hope it gets the attention of the Make-A-Wish Foundation® and your local Pre-K.
posted by dabitch at 1:40 AM on September 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm glad that your pre-school came to their senses and took down the board, missed that update as I ran back into the thread.
posted by dabitch at 1:41 AM on September 26, 2009

Me too. I'm glad to hear that you and your wife were able to find a way to get this changed. This might be one of those situations where everyone is so wrapped up in what they're doing that they've never stepped back to look at the real effect it's having--although like dabitch, I find it unconscionable that a teacher would be unable to interpret the crying four year old as a big flashing warning sign that the chart is a bad idea.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:15 PM on September 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

It doesn't just suck in pre-K, it always sucks. When I was 10, I was still pretending not to mind the fact that I got no toys or prizes because my parents couldn't afford to buy the stupid magazines my school wanted me to sell, or get orders from their (equally poor) co-workers, like everyone elses parents did.

These ways of fundraising are just cruel, and teach kids about inequality.
posted by jb at 4:31 PM on September 26, 2009

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