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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Collecting - educational/political commentary

We are getting "reminders" in the kids' backpacks almost daily for all the school fundraisers and drives and how important they are to the quality of education offered at school. They just wrapped up a penny drive, which caused the kids to raid our secret stashes of change, including Rick's poker fund. The PTA is holding a dinner and silent auction. We are expected to donate an item, purchase dinner tickets and buy the item back at a higher price.

Currently the classrooms are in a contest to collect the most corporate labels. Like many other schools, they are collecting Campbell's Labels for Education and

General Mills' Box Tops for Education. The General Mills Box Tops for Education are worth 10¢ each. The Campbell's Soup labels are worth 1 or 5 points each depending upon the products purchased (who knows how much money this equates to?). General Mills proudly proclaims on its website this program has earned $250 million for schools across the nation over the past 12 years. While it may sound good, think about it carefully. Those dollars really can't stretch that far in improving education when you consider there are 100+ schools in our little community vying against 1,000s of others for a share of that money.

It is difficult to believe these little labels can make that much of a difference in the educational opportunities afford to our children, however every little bit will help until our government - both state and fenderal - decides education is the greatest social service we can provide our children. We shouldn't have to rely on purchased charity from private corporations to enhance our public schools.

If you'd like to chip in and donate your box tops or soup labels, email me at kate_stine (at) yahoo dot com. It may make a difference and tip the scales for one of the two classrooms represented in this house to win the drive.

1 comment:

The Tin House said...

Kate, there's been an increase in this kind of school fundraising here in Australia lately. You can collect book tokens from the daily paper. I've seen egg cartons with school donation stickers on them. Our state (New South Wales) is in pretty awful shape and education spending is falling through the floor. However, our federal govt's gfc economic stimulus package includes capital spending for schools, and our little primary school is getting $125,000 for building maintenance, and is awaiting a much higher grant (about 2 million I think) in the second round.

Our Parent Club (P&C, PTA, whatever you call it) is raising the funds to put a smartboard in each classroom - they're about $4000 each. So this weekend, we have a bbq set up at the collection point for a big mines open day. We send in donations for stalls for almost every conceivable celebratory moment - mothers day, fathers day, christmas, valentines day, cake stalls for no reason, puppet shows, Easter raffles etc - where you not only buy the prizes, but then have to buy the tickets!

Mind you, our annual fees at this local public school, are $35. I sent off for the fee listing at one of our local elite private schools a few weeks ago. For a 3rd grade student, there would be precious little change from $10,000 a year. That's a mortgage! Ouch.

Enough lunatic raving. Love the spring bulbs over at Kalico Kate.

Lisa x