Raise Funds

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How far would you go to raise needed funds? Would you kiss a pig? Organize a game of cow chip bingo? Paint Pepsi on your school roof? As school budgets seem to buy less and less of what educators and parents believe students need, money from fund-raising is becoming more and more important. Some school districts are discovering -- or creating -- new ways to raise money.

Whether it is selling candy and wrapping paper or such items as T-shirts, candles, pizza kits, posters, cookies, collectibles, or magazines, fund-raising is not new. Each year, schools and nonprofit groups make about $2 billion through fund-raising activities!

Until recently, many schools asked students to sell door-to-door to finance everything from band uniforms to trips abroad: things not ordinarily covered by school budgets. But after the murder of a sixth grader selling wrapping paper and candy and the rape of another student selling newspaper subscriptions, many school districts discourage door-to-door fund-raising. If children do go door-to-door, adults or older siblings are urged to accompany them when they sell or deliver the products. And schools are now suggesting that children sell only during the day and request that children's parents pick up the items being sold and turn in the money so youngsters are not walking the streets with merchandise or cash. School districts would also like to see students sell primarily to relatives, friends, close neighbors, and their parents' co-workers.

Also, Safety is a big issue, but parents still want their children to have the extras that typical school budgets do not cover. Many parents have mixed feelings about raising funds door-to-door.

"When my kid sells things to my friends and neighbors, it puts them on the spot," Monica Stillwagon told Education World. "If I let my kids sell to friends and neighbors, I have to buy from their kids, and some of them have a lot of kids! I'd feel obligated."

For a working parent, it's hard to pick...
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