Friday, March 29, 2013

Ramblings about school

I was going to write a blog post about how annoyed I was with school fundraisers a few weeks ago when Rachel was sent home with the task of selling cookie dough (for only 40% of the profit). This was during a book sale (when we'd just had a book sale a couple of months before), after a "night out" event, after magazine subscriptions, after a Christmas stuff sale...

Since the cookie dough, they've had a school dance ($5 per child!), another thing that I can't remember, and now they're gearing up for their Spring Fling and are asking families to contribute an item or $5 for a themed basket to be raffled off.

I understand that Rachel's school needs money, but—holy hannah!—I think they might have their fingers in a few too many pies there. Maybe they should try to limit themselves to one fundraising event per month, focus a little.

I think the raffle is an excellent idea and we'll definitely be contributing to that. Rachel really wanted to go to the dance (it was grades K–2) but it was the night of the ward Easter party so she couldn't, otherwise I probably would have let her, even though it cost $5 per child and snacks were only for purchase (snarl—y'all have the sound equipment and music so why not $2 per child so that they could pull it out of their own piggy banks?). The cookie dough sale, though? That really got my dander up.

"40% of the profit goes to your school!" they promised.

Awesome. So let's say that I work my tail end off, dragging my child around door-to-door selling cookie dough (because "only sell to people you know!" and we know six people in this state so Rachel can't exactly wander the neighbourhood selling cookie dough) and I get in $50 worth of cookie dough (that's about four orders (2/3 of our 6 neighbourhood contacts were feeling generous enough to spend $13–$18 on a couple dozen cookies that day)) that means the school only gets...$20.

Aren't there laws against child labour for this very reason?

Wouldn't my five-year-old essentially be working for this cookie company for free? Because the cookie company...they just earned $30 (which is more than the school got) and they didn't even have to work to sell their product because we did it for them.

Yeah. We obviously didn't go out selling cookie dough.

But I'll tell you what we did do. We hopped on and found an awesome deal for bulk glue sticks. We bought three cases for around $20 and donated those to Rachel's school.

If I was going to spend x-amount of time to give her school 40% of my efforts anyway, I could also just spend 100% of x-amount of my money on the school. The way I figure it, my $20 worth of glue sticks was really $50 worth of cookie dough, anyway. I think. If my math's right. It might not be. Whatever.

This week I also volunteered in Rachel's classroom for their "class snack." The school district is cracking down on unhealthy party foods so Rachel and I came up with some healthy snacks to offer her fellow students. Popcorn, apple slices, cheese sticks, and...vegetable flowers.

Rachel was very excited for this last one. I found the idea floating (all) around the interwebs.

You just slice cucumbers and carrots into circles, then cut little triangles out of the carrots so they look like tulips and then slice the cucumber slices in half and cut out the seeds so they look like leaves. Skewer them on a toothpick and (presto!) vegetable flowers!

We also threw in some cookies, since Rachel's teacher said that the rule was "anything you could find in the cafeteria" and, she pointed out, "you can find cookies in a cafeteria...but try to come up with something healthy as well!"

The snack was received fairly well. The kids said, as they usually do, that "this party was the best party ever!" Not everyone ate everything, but no one really complained either. I'm not sure they even noticed that instead of being served chips and cookies they were being served fruit and vegetables.

Andrew had class, so these little munchkins tagged along with me:

Miriam got to sit at Rachel's table and eat a snack with Rachel's "group," which she found very exciting. After the snack, when the rest of the students were being dismissed, Rachel showed us around their classroom. They're studying continents right now and this week they learned about Africa so they had a corner of the classroom devoted to Africa. There was a little hut to play in and a street market set up so they could sell each other various goods.

Fun, educational, and creative.

Each member of the class has a little passport that they get to mark off each place they visit (a couple of weeks ago the corner wasn't Africa, but instead was Ireland (which I realize isn't a continent...but it was for St. Patrick's Day and they had a lot of fun—Rachel came home from school saying silly things like, "I'm feeling a bit peckish. That's hungry, in case you've never been to Ireland."). She has so much fun! Her teacher is just the best.

Here's a picture of Benjamin, from when he was hanging out while the rest of us were working on the vegetable flowers. He was feeling a bit peckish so I gave him some spaghetti noodles left over from dinner:

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I despise fundraisers, too! I'm feeling a bit peckish after reading this post. Cute flowers for snack!