school fundraiser rant (but am I being a scrooge?)
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  1. #1

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    Smile school fundraiser rant (but am I being a scrooge?)

    My daughter started kindergarten a little over a month ago. This is a private school she started last january for Pre-K. The same say she started they sent home a Sally Foster gift wrap and holiday gift catalog for a fundraiser. Tomorrow is the deadline and I'm so not in the mood to buy anything out of it. Am I being unreasonable? Here are my objections:

    1. This is just the first of many. The scholastic book "fair" is coming up, which is really just another catalog but on books that I'd pay less for. I believe this repeats in the spring. Then there is a spring carnival with auction of baskets provided by parents. Then there's a crafty thing they did last year where their artwork is transfered to magnets, shirts, etc. I expect something similar this year.

    2. This is a private school. non profit but still private. Why not bump the tuition a little and forgo the guilt trippin'?

    3. They don't provide lunches or snacks. Each kid brings group snack every two weeks. I'd probably send her own lunch anyway but I'm already spending an extra $10-20 a month to send nutritious snacks for the kids *and* teachers. I'm feeling nickel and dimed.

    4. Speaking of nickel and dimed, and increasing my apathy, is the fact that her school supply list included things like a large pack of mulit-colored sharpies and a specific type of dry erase markers. Most of the usual glue,crayons, markers etc, were listed only as name brand items. I'm sorry, but are they letting 5 year olds use sharpies? I doubt it. MAYBE the kids are using the dry erase markers but I doubt enough to warrant making it an expense the family should bear.

    5. Halloween is coming, as is our State Fair (whoo Texas) and the school is located in the planetarium at the fair grounds. Her class is going to fair some days, and one week during the kids will be on field trips ($$) everyday off site (zoos, etc, not at the fair). The fair is a tradition and lots of fun and if I'm going to splurge soon its going to be there. So anyway I have LOTS of entertainment and holiday related expenses coming and now isn't a good time to throw $20 away.

    6. I've dumpster dived enough wrapping paper this year for all the gifts I'll be giving. I don't need anything and the gourmet gifts would be nice but I'd get more out of making our own and using that time to bond with my daughter.


    I guess I'm just perplexed at WHY I should feel obligated to contribute to a fundraiser at a private school when I alread contribute so much? The supply list was LONG and not just your usual tissues and construction paper.

    And will my daughter be treated differently if we don't contribute? She already stands out because I've let the teachers know to send her lunch bags home and we take the bus occasionally.

    OK. Rant over. Commiseration or advice appreciated
    Last edited by traveller; 09-21-2006 at 04:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User i.m.cheap's Avatar
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    Public schools do this too. I remember when Molly was in public school kindergarten, they had three fundraisers the first nine weeks of school. I am not kidding. First, it was the gift wrap, etc. catalog, then "discount cards" good for discounts at area restaurants (the cards were $5 you could use them for a year), then it was cookie dough in a three pound tub for $12 each. By the time they got to the cookie dough we had stopped supporting the fundraisers.

    I mean, come on, these kids are five years old, and like you, we had purchased the supply list at the start of the school year with things like baby wipes, and paper towels (for classroom use). I think fundraising is way overdone in some schools.

  3. #3

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    My youngest daughter just started preschool and we already are getting this stuff driven down our throats. I just say No. I'm not going to buy the crap to support the school. My daughter's school doesn't even do field trips. It is absolutely ridiculous to me.

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  5. #4
    Registered User Lyn5's Avatar
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    I can sympathize. My son is in K at a public school and it has already started.

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    Registered User Neeley's Avatar
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    When our kids were in regular school (we homeschool now) we never participated in them. I asked around and many parents did not either. They were never treated any differently, and we never thought twice about it.

  7. #6
    Registered User Laurie in Bradenton's Avatar
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    I went in and told the teacher I did not agree with fundraisers and did not want my daughter involved. Instead I gave the teacher a $20.00 bill and told her to use it for her school supplies. Most fundraisers only give pennies back to the school for the amount of money collected. I told the teacher to call me if something special was needed and explained I come across alot of stuff. DD was embrassed at first but after I was able to come up with items the teacher needed she settled down.

    Laurie in Bradenton

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    Registered User Daisygirl's Avatar
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    I rarely participate in fundraisers because I simply cannot afford it. Occasionally I will buy something if it seems a decet value and I actually want the item. We nearly always buy from the Scholastic book orders, but they are a good deal.

    No one has ever commented about my lack of participation. When my kids start begging me to participate, I take them to the dollar store and we find the same items at 1/5 of the price. Only have had to do that once per child and they totally understand.

  9. #8
    Registered User Katybird's Avatar
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    I don't think your being a scrooge at all. I applaud you for taking a stand and refusing to do it.

    Grrrr, it is horrible that they try to start our children out as salespeople in kindergarten and even preK. I have problems with my co-workers bringing their children's flyer's for fundraisers to work and expecting their co-workers to buy. It gets to be a big ugly cycle, if you purchase from one coworker then you feel obligated to purchase from the others and it gets outrageously expensive. I work with some nurses who are making $45 an hour so it is not such an expense for them but for those of us that are not making even half of that it is a hardship. I had to just start saying "I am sorry but I have a really tight budget this year".

  10. #9
    Registered User PennyPinchinPam's Avatar
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    We never participate in the fundraisers. wouldn't know what the school thinks, wouldn't care anyways. *snickers* Definitely don't feel guilty, it's your choice not theirs.

  11. #10

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    Ha ha! I used to be a public school teacher, and I wouldn't buy from my students. I work with the youth at church, and I won't buy from them, either. I have better ways to spend my money than buying useless junk from an overpriced catalogue.

    Don't feel guilty for not buying anything. It's not a requirement. They're just hoping you'll feel too guilty to let your kiddo go back to school without any sales.

    I'm looking forward to the state fair, too! We really do have a good one here in Texas!

  12. #11

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    I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way I guess I thought this school would be more laid back and less material about things since it's associated with the nature and science center. I'm just kinda dissapointed with school culture so far.

    And 3 fundraisers in a row? I would find it hard to bite my tongue over that!

    ewokgirl, if you go this year check out the birds of flight exhibit. They have some blue pelicans and are based at the bandshell. We've seen them practicing - gorgeous!

  13. #12
    Registered User miss_thrifty's Avatar
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    I deffently know how u feel. From day 1 we buy them
    a AGENDA BOOK to put their homwork list into,
    *scholastic every 3 weeks , a paper come home, ive seen 2 already, i usually say no, because we borrow from libary all what we need or buy from yard sales for .50 cents -$2.00
    *this week is fundraising for Terry Fox run and donating anything at home, used magazines, dvds , vcr tapes, books etc. I sent " fly away home vcr, and The Brothers Grim dvd" 2 things they dont want anymore that i got cheap and brand new.
    *Fundraising for school- selling christmas cards and calenders this year, no thanks if theyre way too exspensive. last year i bought from differnt magazine, a egg cutter, and 3 mini xmas angels.
    *they want us to donate not just out time(I understand that part), also for us to donate healthy foods to that classroom and any others the odd time, if they are short
    *we usually pay only $5 of what the normal $15 would cost, hey pay rest of musical numbers in the theatres and winter group projects
    *theirs winter carnivals $$$$$
    *we do the shoe box to other countries filled with toys, toothbruches, paper pens, etc, xmas gifts to foreign countries
    theirs others things always going on plus my church is always helping one group or another but I cant keep giving, And i got tired of feeling guilty, I know i cant afford it, so why feel bad>

  14. #13

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    I don't blame you at all! I don't have children but also don't buy when ask to, heck my property taxes just went up AGAIN for the schools, 3/4 of my taxes go directly to the schools already! I feel I pay MORE than enough with those taxes, between that and the state lottery money they just need to budget better

    kj

  15. #14
    Registered User tigo's Avatar
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    At the private school my kids were in- it was a requirement. They had a minimum participation level for each family as far as fund raisers. If you opted out you paid an additional $100 a month. That was the last year the kids went to private school. They were homeschooled for a while and are now in public school. So far- no fund raisers have come in.

  16. #15
    Registered User bumplett's Avatar
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    I understand the importance of fundraisers - at least in public school

    This is the main way the PTA earns funds to use throughout the year & into the next year.

    Imagine what schools would lack if not for the PTA.....

    I will usually purchase one item.

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