Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cheesy product sales have jumped the shark

If this letter to the editor in the Lawrence Journal World doesn't get across the idea that the backlash against strong-arm school sales drives is gaining momentum, I don't know what will. But note the hopeful part at the end of the letter regarding a FUNdraiser recently cited on this very blog:

"When my kindergartner came home with her Reader’s Digest school fundraiser envelope, I felt a little annoyed. Earlier that day, she had attended a school assembly where she had picked up phrases like 'fabulous prizes' and 'world’s finest chocolate.' I could see that the consumption marketing machine had gotten to her.

"In fact, she was desperate to win the poorly made plastic incentive prizes: light-up pocket flyers, filter optic pens, and hydration station drink pump and plastic light-up cup. She was primed to sell, sell, sell. And I, as I mentioned, was annoyed.

"Still I wanted to support my daughter’s school. Moreover, I wanted to support the efforts of our PTA, who work very hard year round. Therefore, I decided to buy an item. I browsed through the fundraiser catalog several times before I gave up. I simply couldn’t get the image of my 5-year-old attending the motivational all-school assembly out of my head. I could clearly see her sitting on the gym floor receiving instruction on the selling points of Reader’s Digest 'World’s Finest Chocolate'; it was disturbing. Needless to say, I opted out of the fundraiser and, in its place, my family gave extra support to the annual school carnival.

"I mention all of this because I was particularly impressed by Schwegler Elementary’s green fundraiser, which was featured in the J-W’s Thursday, Oct. 4 edition. Kudos and super congratulations, Schwegler and Westar Energy! We can all learn from your inspired collaborative green school fundraiser.

"Kelly Jones,


Schools can go from drawing ire to earning praise when they align their fundraising practices with their core values.

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