Would you pay for a week of no homework for your child? Administrators at a Los Alamitos, CA elementary school decided to ask that question of parents and students and watch the money roll in. They asked parents to pay $100 for a fundraiser that would bring needed funds back into the classroom and in return, the child would be homework free for a whole week. Good idea or not?
You know me well enough now to know that while I believe in monetizing a lot of things in the name of fundraising, this is not one of the things I would ever choose to do. There are lots of reasons NOT to do it — some parents can’t afford it, it feels exclusive, but most importantly, it is doing a disservice to the students — you know, the ones we are all trying to HELP with fundraisers!!! Don’t get me wrong, I get super-frustrated with Emily and Charlotte when it comes to doing their homework. Sometimes there are fights. Sometimes there is crying. A lot of the time, lately, it has meant late nights of both for my middle schooler!
I’m sure the administrators at the school heard this gripe from the parents and wanted to find a way to make this fundraiser work for everyone. They thought it could temporarily relieve stress in the house and bring in some money for the school.
The problem is the kids are still going to be held responsible for the material and need to learn and understand it. I don’t think the Common Core standards will allow the excuse of “I didn’t have to do my homework that week because my parents paid money so I didn’t have to do homework, so I don’t know it.”
What made me happiest about this story was the fact that a parent went to the local news reporters, who then went to the school board and asked if they were aware of this “homework buyout.” They weren’t, but once the reporter shared the information with the school board, the whole thing was shut down. It took a parent to stand up and advocate for their child. Just one — to tell them that this wasn’t a good choice.
We all advocate for our children everyday. I encourage you to always speak up — even when it’s hard. Fundraising isn’t easy, but we have to remember why we do what we do. It’s for the kids!
Do you know someone who could use help with their fundraising? Send them my blog post, or better yet, introduce me to them! Connect with me on my Facebook page!
To your success,
Sarah has been fundraising for schools since 2008. She is the author of A Mom’s Guide to School Fundraising and has consulted for several schools and clubs. She has been featured on RetailMeNot.com, Scholastic: Parent & Child and The New York Times. She thinks all kids should be able to have a well-rounded education, team uniforms, instruments and support. Don’t you?
Photo Credit: polyvore.com