Three weeks into kindergarten, Noah brought home his first fundraising packet. I couldn’t wait to ditch…I mean dive into that catalog of overpriced wrapping paper and cans of mixed nuts that could send both of my minis into anaphylaxis. Did the school run out of money during the three short weeks since I dropped Noah off bearing $100 dollars worth of folders, crayons, markers, glue, water paint, Kleenex, paper towels, crackers, and a resting mat? You heard me — a resting mat. They do know that those 20 glue sticks should not be applied to chapped lips, right?
Today, we got our second monthly Scholastic Book Club flyer. I cherish books and will always encourage my children to read. However, when those books arrive in the classroom, they are handed out to students like Christmas presents. Some kids get 5-6 books while others get none. Maybe it’s because their parents are having a rough month. Maybe (as in our case) it’s because I’ve been buying children’s books since before they were born, so we have shelves overflowing with stories we haven’t even touched yet.
Schools preach to “just say no” and not succumb to peer pressure. What about the pressure they apply to children? Sell more, buy more, earn more points for the classroom so we can have a pizza party or a movie day.
It’s important to me personally that my child doesn’t feel different just because his parents disagree with the system. But I refuse to peddle those overpriced goods to my family, friends, and co-workers. I will be the mom who writes a check for $75 and you will be the friend who receives the most expensive can of mixed nuts wrapped exquisitely in the shiniest paper you’ve even seen. I bet you can hardly wait!