David Melson

An 'F' for fundraising

Posted Thursday, September 6, 2007, at 10:17 AM
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  • That is why my children do not and will not participate. I once bought the cheapest thing in those magazines just to suffice a smaller cousin of mine. It doesn't work right, never has and it is the only kitchen timer in the world that doesn't ding and still cost $22.

    -- Posted by sambntn on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 10:22 AM
  • AMEN!!! It almost seems that from the first day of school until the last day before summer vacation some school in our area is selling something.

    I am so glad that EastSide has refrained from this for the last several years. Yet, we still have to sell for baseball, cheerleading, football, scouts, band and any other extra curricular activities that our children are in.

    I say let the children learn the things needed for a good education not how many candy bars I still need to sell to get that "free" bike or playstation.

    -- Posted by EastSideMom on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 10:32 AM
  • Teachers are out of control with their fund raisers and their long list of school supplies that students are required to have. Parents must pay lab fees, book fees, etc, etc. What are tax dollars for? The only time school fund raisers are acceptable is when the money is for extracurricular activities. If there is not enough money to educate our children, give the children a lesson in government and ask them and their parents to write a letter to their elected officials in state and national government asking them to increase spending on education. I am sure many parents would much rather ask the leadership to use tax dollars already collected for its intended purpose instead of pimping candy bars or cookie tins.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 10:57 AM
  • Also I would like to note that I was amazed when I visited a local elementary classroom and saw that the kindergarten teacher had a very nice computer with a flat panel on her desk. Pay a visit to a professors office at Motlow and you will find a very old computer kept running well beyond its life cycle. When I was in the Marine Corps the majority of the computers in use were at least four years old. If new computers were bought and issued many of the commanders would give their office staff the new computer and take the staff's older one (which was better than his) because they had common sense. My point is that I don't think teachers need computers to perform their job and it is more of a distraction than anything else. Schools should be giving these computers to students and we should certainly be offering students classes in computer science so we can be competitive against countries like Japan, India, and China.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 11:12 AM
  • Yes teachers are awesome and I admire what they do and virtually all of them spend their own money. There are some though that require more supplies than what is needed to educate. This is shown by the different supplies needed by teachers that teach the same grade.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 11:21 AM
  • And does anybody else not understand why I have to buy tissues, hand sanitizer,baby wipes, lysol wipes, safety pins, Ziploc baggies, lysol spray, bags of candy for the library and art teachers to hand out? Next year, I am guessing, I will also have to provide toilet paper and mopping supplies.

    -- Posted by Revolution on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 11:28 AM

    That is what I am talking about. Next year will we be asked to purchase fluorescent light bulbs and chalk? Banning children from field trips because they didn't sale their candy bar quota! Public education is a right not a privilege in this country and all students should be treated equally. If one child can not go on the field trip they all can not go. Shame on any teacher that would foster such an environment in their classroom. For many of these children, how many candy bars they sale is out of their control. Some may have 50 family members that live nearby so they have no trouble while others do not. The parents of some may have two jobs and they do not have the time to drive around door to door or they are not allowed to sale the candy bars at work to help their child. Either way this policy of banning children that do not generate enough revenue from field trips should be addressed and this teacher should be corrected and or reprimanded.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 11:46 AM
  • Please note it is not the teachers who do the rewards programs for students selling the most at a fund raiser, it is the school.Most teachers hate fund raisers as much as parents do..just think about it..they are the ones who have to keep up with 25+ kids sales and money Plus Teach!

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 1:41 PM
  • And on a personal note:

    Revolution I for one am glad you are back amoung us I missed your post.

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 1:44 PM
  • You see, the is the reason why I am not having any kids. IT'S TOO EXPENSIVE!!!

    Also, thanks Nathan. Now I feel like a dirty ol perv when I am buying candy from pimping little 10 year old children. LOL!!!!!!!!!

    -- Posted by jaxspike on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 1:45 PM
  • Seriously though, education should be a top priority and the local, state, and federal governments should be funding it 100% . . . not the families since they already have enough of a burden as is with other costs. Plus, why isn't the proceeds from the lottery being used toward these items. I saw on the news where a high percentage of the students who receive a lottery scholarship lose it the first year because of low grades. Maybe it would be a better investment of we focus that money at the lower education level where learning starts and then these kids wouldn't be failing in college.

    It's sad when we invest money into horse shows and convention centers but wont invest more money into education.

    -- Posted by jaxspike on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 1:52 PM
  • Stop spending two billion dollars a week in Iraq for starters.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 2:39 PM
  • Second that Nathan...

    -- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 2:41 PM
  • Well, as for the kids selling ads for a grade, it seems like they might as well. Alot of our mfg. jobs are going away so unless they further their education, they might as well look forward to a "job" in retail or customer service anyway. I'm really not serious, but do ya see what I mean?

    And, who or what fund pays for the reward parties?

    I would really rather they just send home a note saying they would like to request, say, $5.00 per kid, instead of selling the crap. JMO

    -- Posted by mmp84 on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 3:03 PM
  • We could also pay down the national debt so we can devote the 211.1 billion dollars a year we spend on interest payments to education. I wonder who is getting rich off of those interest payments anyways. It has to be going somewhere.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 3:37 PM
  • Here you will find the foreign owners of our national debt:


    And a breakdown of all the national debt:


    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 3:59 PM
  • Yeah, wait til you have to buy that $150.00 calculator for Algebra..

    And as we were speaking a group of kids came in my office selling candy bars for Thomas School..Did I buy any?...Heck ya.

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 4:44 PM
  • Revolution, I'll be over later for a box of candy bars.

    As for letting kids do the fundraising, that is a marketers dream. You don't pay anybody to sell your products, plus the school's supposedly get a percentage of the funds (how much is usually said to be more than is actually the case)... and it's free advertisement for their companies.

    These kids are being used as free tools for these companies who are obviously profiting very well, because they continue to do this every single year!

    There are ways to control this... I have seen this happen before, an entire class (I believe it was the 4th grade, at a local school) essentially boycotted the fundraising hoopla. Ever since, the fundraising giants have been soliciting these kids less and less often. Schools have had to find more creative ways to afford these ridiculous costs.

    I even remember a girl who came to our house a few months ago, and was essentially selling her soul, in order to get a paid trip overseas, in some school sponsored international competition. The young lady was obviously EXTREMELY intelligent, but she already showed signs of a desperate salesperson trying to meet a quote. (She was 17)

    -- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 4:54 PM
  • See Diana, these kids are tools for mega corporations who's main intentions are PROFIT. Their goals aren't to help kids get an education or even help pay for textbooks, or any other required student activities... it is to entice them with "FREE" stuff, and make them feel like failures for not selling enough items...

    -- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 4:57 PM
  • I know that but those big blue eyes asking me to buy a candy bar..gets me everytime.

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 5:04 PM
  • Bill Gates isn't at question here. I understand companies make profits, that is their objective. I'm not a Senior Marketing major, and think businesses should go around charging at break-even prices. But is sad to see them influencing kids (get them while they're young, hoping they'll be life-long customers) and using them as marketing tools.

    I agree with your point, I would hate DOS. Bill Gates is one of the few philanthropist, but he doesn't have little kids doing his fundraising.

    -- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 5:23 PM
  • Honestly, it shouldn't be the corporations jobs to bail out failing school systems, that is where governmnet should stop spending money to fix other countries, and start spending money to fix it's own.

    Sad times.

    -- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 5:25 PM
  • I don't think the fund raising is meant to bail out failing school systems. When my daughter's school sold cokes they purchased the cokes at a discount price then charged like 18.00 per case. Thus making some money for the school. Then the money is given between the teachers to get things they need in their classroom such as copy paper, crayons, glue (just because there is a list of supplies given to each student does not mean each student has those supplies)Many teachers also use this money for field trips, Bulletin board supplies, maps, extra reading books for the classroom, reward stickers and other teaching tools. These things are not supplied by the school..Burger King here in Shelbyville has been a great help the kids from the school of a certain class have different nights that they go and work for Burger King collecting receipts then Burger King gives that class the money from those receipts. My daughter had to go to in service during the summer in order to get a projector for her room. Things like computers, projectors are not given to these teachers they have to work for them by doing in service on their own time.

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 5:55 PM
  • Fund Raisers help pay for play ground equipment, football, softball, soccer fields, new library books, new curtains for the stage, new trays for the cafeteria the list is endless of things schools need that are not provided by school funds.

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 6:06 PM
  • eBay Education Specialist are working on programs to help schools teach business, marketing, design, photography, accounting, shipping etc. while making money for their school or clubs.

    The students can not actually sell if they are not over 18, but they can do most of the other work and it teaches them a lot of real world skills.

    All the parents would have to do is clean out their closets and bring them to the schools. The students would sort through the stuff, learn what will sell and what won't and do the work needed to create the eBay listing.

    No "street walking" or "pimping" or hitting friends and neighbors to buy unhealthy stuff.

    Does eBay make money on the listings? Yup, but they take about 10% where the other companies often get 50% or more and they don't teach the students much except to beg neighbors, friends, relatives or Mom & Dad to buy their stuff.

    Just an FYI

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 6:51 PM
  • Actually a lot of the schools have Fall Festivals where parents clean out closets and businesses donate items..parents donate items also and they have auctions..The parents and the kids and the teachers do all the work and the school then gets 100% of the profit.

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 7:20 PM
  • I'll just be honest - I hate fundraisers. But they are a necessary evil -- the government wants to tell us what our children should be learning and the standards they should be meeting, yet they don't fund the items teachers need.

    We want our children to be competitive in the international market but we don't want to spend the money for teachers to have the tools to do it.

    Do you think any teacher wants to collect fundraising money? Or stand outside Burger King collecting receipts? In what other profession do you have to beg for money to have the tools to do your job?

    What really gripes me is the people who yell the loudest about buying the Kleenex that their child will use, are usually the ones who don't give a second thought to buying a carton of cigarettes or 6-pack of beer every week. The thing is, education is not a priority for some parents.

    I'm a teacher - and I'll toot my own horn -- I'm a very good teacher. I love my students. I go to basketball games, football games, soccer games, plays, and all kinds of other things that aren't even associated with my school because I want my students to know I care about them. I go in early and I stay late - and even then I bring papers home to grade and do research about what learning strategies will work best for certain skills. I try to incorporate computer skills, games, and fun activities so the students will latch on to what I'm teaching and will hopefully learn from, so my school won't be on the "failing" schools list. And I still have my own family to take care of!

    I became a teacher because I love to see the "lightbulb" moment when a student learns something they've been working so hard on... but I'm tired, REALLY tired - being a Wal-mart greeter is starting to look more and more attractive :(

    Its not the kids who make this job difficult; its the adults.

    -- Posted by amori_da_viaggiare on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 8:14 PM
  • amori_da_viaggiare

    You are absolutely correct... I just wished for once, that hundred million dollar a year CEO's and the military would have to hold a bake sale in order to fund their companies product launches, or to buy bombs with... Instead, we just write them blank checks...

    It is absurd, and the educational system is failing, not because of the teachers (some teachers are better than ever)... but unfortunately they have no choice but to have Burger King nights, which usually means that teacher works from AT LEAST 8:00 am until 8:00 pm.

    I honestly, just once want to see other professions have to essentially plead and beg for donations in order to keep the people who employ them, afloat!

    -- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 9:05 PM
  • The problem is not that we do not want to fund our schools. We pay taxes on money that has already been taxed. How much more can we pay? When we get notes from the school asking for more money we get a little irritated.

    The fund raisers are out of hand. Keeping children that don't sale enough candy bars from attending a pizza party at school is immoral and can be a life changing event for that young mind. That child is learning a tough lesson at far too young an age.

    As far as the education funding goes the problem is with our elected officials that collect dollar upon dollar of our hard earned money and spend it on things that they have no business spending it on (like giving 5 million tax payer dollars to Verizon as incentive to move to Tennessee).

    No one doubts that you care about your students or that you go above and beyond, but at what point do you stand up and tell our elected officials that the system is broken?

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 9:20 PM
  • No one doubts that you care about your students or that you go above and beyond, but at what point do you stand up and tell our elected officials that the system is broken?

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 9:20 PM

    When I say you stand up I mean all of us that realize we need change now.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 9:25 PM
  • Nathan, and the thing is.. education is a non-partisan issue. It should be priority for every single candidate... and current politician.

    It is very enlightening to see your thoughts and ideas on this and other blogs. Very open mind, I take back all previous bad things I said towards you. It was obviously out of character and unnecessary... We just need more people like YOU who are able and willing to do something and change the current broken Educational system.

    -- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 9:38 PM
  • I agree that keeping kids out of a reward because they didn't sell enough is WRONG. I end up not teaching much on those days and end up entertaining a group of heartbroken children. A lot of times we have more fun in the classroom than the children who got the reward. :) And that is another drawback of reward days -- they end up being minimal teaching days. Teachers don't come up with these ideas! We get a lot flack for stuff like this, but we are essentially the low man on the totem pole. Just as I am sure you have answer to your employer, so do we.

    We are lucky here in Bedford County that our school board, superintendent, and administrators do everything they can to insure we have what we need. They can only make the money they are allotted go so far.

    And Nathan, I do tell everyone I know that the system is not working. But like I said, for most adults not in the education business...its not a priority.

    I've been standing for quite a while..at what point do YOU stand up?

    -- Posted by amori_da_viaggiare on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 9:54 PM
  • But the problem still remains while we are "Fixing" the broken educational system, "What happens to the kids trapped in the middle of having no money for the schools?" Are we as parents and teachers suppose to look at these children and say I am sorry you don't have a football team or play ground equipment but the residents of Shelbyville said they wouldn't do any more fund raisers. Or Sorry kids no field trips this year, we have no funds.

    Pizza parties and Ice cream parties for top sellers are just incentives, something to motivate the kids to sell. Not so these companies who provide the candy bars or cokes can make money but so the kids can do things other schools do that have the funds we don't have. (Just remember all schools and all counties are not created equally)

    Motivation is part of everybody's adult life (your boss motivates you by giving you a bonus) and aren't our children suppose to be learning how to function in the outside world? Isn't that part of our education system?

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 9:55 PM
  • I didn't read your last post until just now when mine posted Nathan. We do all need to "stand up."

    Sorry - I tend to get a little worked up about education. Can you tell its very near and dear to my heart? :)

    -- Posted by amori_da_viaggiare on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 9:58 PM
  • MyNeighbor & Darrick,

    Thank you.

    Pats on the back are always accepted and greatly appreciated. :)

    -- Posted by amori_da_viaggiare on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 10:01 PM
  • We used to take field trips about 6 times a year, and you wanna know how we paid for it... About $5 a kid, everytime. Quick, easy, and to the point.

    Cut out the middle men, and you won't need a bunch of fundraisers...

    -- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 10:04 PM
  • And we had the cafeteria make pre-made bagged lunches... Every single kid went, the only one's left out were the kid's who misbehaved, not the ones who didn't sell enough junk...

    -- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 10:06 PM
  • Did you ever notice that there were children who didn't go on those field trips? $5.00 to your parents might not be much but to some it might as well been $500.00.

    Wonder how parents would like it if the schools ask for money everytime they needed new swings or football uniforms, or gas money for the basketball and football teams to go play. I'd say they would be trying to do fundraisers.

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 10:11 PM
  • I didn't read your last post until just now when mine posted Nathan. We do all need to "stand up."

    Sorry - I tend to get a little worked up about education. Can you tell its very near and dear to my heart? :)

    -- Posted by amori_da_viaggiare on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 9:58 PM

    No problem amori... I realized after reading my post that my words did not have their intended meaning. Your service to our community and nation is greatly appreciated. You are a true American hero.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 10:15 PM
  • Diana, there weren't any students left out because of money issues... Not once.

    And we never held a fundraiser to pay for anything.

    -- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 10:19 PM
  • I went to the same school, isnt' it obvious... But then again, none of the teachers then would allow students to be left out..

    -- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 10:21 PM
  • Revolution:

    Admittedly, I don't get the whole ziploc bags and safety pins thing either. I ask for what is needed to make the learning process smoother. Anything that I consider to be art materials, I either buy myself, use room fee money for, or put on my "If you have these items and would like to donate them, we would appreciate it!" list.

    As you stated, that was a generalization. I was not directly speaking about you because I don't know you. :) Your complaint about excessiveness of requests is geniune and as a parent myself, I've seen it too!

    However, 9 year olds do need to be taught how to use a calculator. Do you ever use one? I sure do and I thank who ever it was who taught me how to use it! In case you haven't noticed, the curriculum for our children has been pushed down so much that 9 year olds are doing things we did in middle school.

    I sincerely apologize if you thought I was directly addressing you. Sometimes my alligator mouth overloads my hummingbird behind. :)

    -- Posted by amori_da_viaggiare on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 10:39 PM
  • Field trips was just a general thing. (But I am sure whatever you send for a field trip does not pay all the expenses of the trip),whatever the money is used for ..it is used for your child. YOUR child is getting the benefit from whatever funds have been collected. If anyone should hate fund-raising it should be the people who do not have children in the school system because they are the ones buying the products the kids are selling without benefitting at all. Band Members do sell fruit to help pay for their trips..which is good but basketball players, football players and cheerleaders have to do the same thing for the same reasons.

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 6, 2007, at 11:19 PM
  • I do like the Shelbyville Band fruit sale. Its good quality and not dollar store crap. I hear quite alot older folks down here in Unionville who want to buy and maybe can't afford it, or, won't buy it because it doesn't support their alma mater or their grand-childrens school.

    Just yesterday, my third grader came home with his packet begging me and dad to buy $150 worth so he can go to the Chucky Cheese party. We wouldn't mind just making a cash donation but not for $150!

    Also, how is it fair if they take a school bus for any reward trip? I don't know if this happens or not. Didn't we pay for that diesel fuel and pay the driver with our tax money? I'm not real clear on who pays for what or how stuff works. Obviously.

    -- Posted by mmp84 on Fri, Sep 7, 2007, at 8:10 AM

    -- Posted by jssg1975 on Fri, Sep 7, 2007, at 8:59 AM
  • I don't agree with being graded for selling, and I think all fundraisers should be voluntary and prizes should not be awarded.

    I would like to point out, however, that schools/athletes have to get money from somewhere and people constantly complain about having to either donate or pay taxes to support them.

    -- Posted by stardust on Fri, Sep 7, 2007, at 11:24 AM
  • Prizes could be awarded, but they should be shipped to the child's home address and not handed out in front of other children. Participation in fund raisers is not a matter of wanting to participate, it is a matter of ability to participate. I am certain that any one of us would buy 10 boxes of candy bars from our children if we had the resources available. The fact is that the majority of us do not. The school officials should not be punishing children for things that is out of their control, this practice is unfair and a tough lesson to understand for an eight year old.

    -- Posted by nathan.evans on Fri, Sep 7, 2007, at 11:54 AM
  • I understand your concern nathan and the teachers worry about this problem also. There almost has to be some sort of incentive for these children to sell during a fundraiser or they would not push to do it..and would not serve their purpose.

    I remember when I was in grade school there was a little girl in my class who wasn't allowed to eat sugar..back then children almost always brought cupcakes and cookies for their birthday and this little girl was never allowed to eat with us..she would always cry and even then with me being only a small child I remember how bad it broke my heart to see her being left out. After seeing how unhappy this little girl would get over this, our teacher being a wonderful, caring teacher would bring in sugar free snacks and keep in her desk to give the little girl. Just so she wouldn't feel so left out of the fun.

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Sep 7, 2007, at 1:35 PM
  • Omg, today at work I had three different moms who I work with having to sell stuff for their kids...

    When does it end?

    And each and every one of them talked about how their kids "want to sell enough to go to the Chucky Cheese Party, or they'll have to sit in the time-out room, while the rest of the teachers and kids are being rewarded."

    It just isn't fair to kids who have limited family and friends that are willing to give to these fundraisers. Many times in my childhood, plenty of people gave simple donations, rather than buy junk they don't need.

    -- Posted by darrick_04 on Sat, Sep 8, 2007, at 7:31 PM
  • Well then how would you suggest they get the funds they need for schools, football, basketball, cheerleading, band?

    If you say the parents should pay ALL expenses for these things I am afraid you'd find so many children would not be able to do the things they are involved in now...would that be fair?

    Who pays for new playground equipment? new Library Books? New Chairs for the cafeteria? Maybe a new stage decor? For the Football/soccer fields being relined? Hotel stays when one of our teams get to go to state? New uniforms?

    Right now it is Fund raisers..do you think Parents would be willing to pay these expenses?

    -- Posted by Dianatn on Sat, Sep 8, 2007, at 9:32 PM
  • To Darrick--all you have to do is say no thanks. I try to buy at least 1 item and I am also asked frequently. Did your parents complain when you were in school? My kids didn't even have relatives in the state and they still tried to support their interests. The only item I complain about are the smart cards. Those are useless and the businesses that have to recognize them also complain about them.

    In case you aren't aware, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, has upped the anty for what teachers have to teach,{including technology} but haven't provided the funding.

    As I said previously, fundraisers are necessary because too many adults forget that they were in school once and don't want to give back for their education. I am proud of the one I got and I am always willing to donate and anyone with the means should also. I want every child to have a good experience in school. I would rather give at school than donate to politicians anytime.

    -- Posted by stardust on Sun, Sep 9, 2007, at 5:40 PM
  • Umm, ok. I do say No. I have 7 cousins and a brother with fundraisers going on now. I had no problem telling them 'NO'.

    -- Posted by darrick_04 on Sun, Sep 9, 2007, at 8:13 PM
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