Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Begging Fundraiser for Grade 4's

In grade 4, around these parts, there is a class trip that is a VERY big deal. The kids go to a sleep over camp for a few days. The fundraiser is a "walk-a-thon."

The fundraiser is set up like this: Your camp trip is going to cost $140. Ask people you know for money. Then we're going to walk from 9:15 till noon (to a park, around the park, and back.) I'm having issues with this fundraiser.

To play Devils Advocate with myself, I suppose this way ALL the monies go to the payment of the trip. There's no chocolate bars or THINGS to keep track of.

My issues: Many times in life, we need money. I would like to teach my daughter that there are:
  • Creative ways to earn what you need;
  • Reasonable ways to earn what you need;
  • Moral ways to earn what you need;
  • Ways to earn what you need that are helpful and KIND to others;
  • Ways to earn what you need that does NOT involve begging and giving NOTHING in return.
I don't want to teach my daughter that there is no "work" involved. If I send her out to beg for money, and in return all she's going to do is take a "walk in the park", what will she learn?

What I DO want her to get from this experience, is that money represents energy spent, and an equal exchange of energy is required and kind.

All her grandparents before her (she's got a couple of sets, in our happy pagan life) learned or were taught a SKILL (or two or ten) to help make a job easier. Or someones life enhanced, or help someone do what they themselves can't. And for that got paid. ALL of them, HARD and proud workers.

I've always been creative to earn what we need. I have at times bartered energies, too. (I'll babysit your kids, and I appreciate the groceries or vegetables from your garden, etc. I'll make you a doll, and trade you for knowledge/books/dresses for my daughters. That sort of thing.)

There is NOTHING that sits right in my cells about sending my daughter off into the world to BEG for others hard-earned-energy. If $5 represents about half an hour of someones energy (for arguments sake. In our area, with minimum wage at about $10, after taxes, I'm estimating $5) then I need to teach my daughter that she's going to have to return in kind half an hour of HER energy for it.

She and I have talked about this. Together, we've come up with a plan that is reasonable, makes her responsible, gives her control over her trip, and will help her appreciate what $140 in energy LOOKS AND FEELS like.

Next weekend, She and I are going to be in the kitchen. She is going to help peel and squish bananas, break eggs, stir batter, and make breads and biscotti. She is going to help wrap them.

On Sunday, October 10, she will be with me at Market all day (9am till 2pm), selling the biscotti and breads she will have helped make (banana, zucchini, pumpkin.) to fundraise for her trip. She is really eager to have her own table in my tent, and to do the selling, too. It's cute, and I can't wait to see how she handles it all. I'm proud of her for looking forward to this, and putting some thought into it.

I'm sure I'll get some differing opinions on this one, from teachers and parents alike. This isn't about arguing who is right or wrong, and I'm SURE the school has it's "whys" for handling it this way. However, this is how OUR family is facing this. Our family and personal values will eventually be launched out into the world in the form of young people who will make a difference to their loved ones and maybe the world.


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