Tuesday, September 24, 2013
School fundraisers: what do they really teach our children?
Last year, my kids' public school was raising funds for iPads for the classrooms. And while I'm sure there are benefits to having iPads at school, did the kids really need them? Like really, really, need them?
Would it not be an okay lesson for the kids to learn that while having iPads would be a great (amazing!)educational resource that they were also an expensive educational resource, and their school just didn't have the funds to purchase them?
Are we not supporting our consumer culture and further solidifying the entitlement of the next generation by giving kids the message that even when you can't afford something, you still try to find a way to purchase it? That you just "have to have it."
And while I might begin by pondering the somewhat small question of if my kids "need" iPads at school, I end by asking what I think is the bigger question: should I really be contributing to this fundraising initiative at my kids school, when I know that the school just one town over doesn't even have basic supplies - y'know like books. Should we not teach our kids that we help all the kids get books, before we start raising money for some kids to have extras like iPads?
I don't know the answers, but I do know this year I am going to think more about what it all means before just sending in my check. And who knows, maybe this approach will even teach my kids more then they'll learn from having an iPad in their classroom.