> Mrs. O'Neill's Blog: Fundraising for the school

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fundraising for the school

Today we launched our candy sale. Over the next two weeks our high school students need to sell $150 worth of chocolate bars (each). There are all sorts of prizes to give them incentives, including getting a half day off school if you sell $100 worth before next Friday, breakfast from McDonalds for the homeroom that sells the most, and a regular raffle of $10 and $20 bills for the highest sellers each second day. If the school hits its average of $150 dollars per student we will all get an entire day off in November. Finally, whichever grade sells the most will have their nominated candidate made 'Homecoming Queen'. We have been balloted all week and there are four girls nominated for queen. Most years we have a senior (S6) queen -but there is always the chance that another year group will sell enough to have their queen 'enthroned'.

As a homeroom teacher (registration teacher)who incidentally can win $100 if my homeroom sells the most candy, I am expected to give my students plenty of encouragement. My freshman homeroom (S3) are geared up to start selling the chocolate bars this weekend. I wonder how they will get on?I have promised I will wear my 'See you Jimmy' hat all day if they sell more than the other homeroom.

I have to admit to a little culture shock over all this. I am struck by the way this event plays to the American love of 'being the best' or winning something. It's also fascinating to see how much these young people value salesmanship. Students seemed eager to take their sales pitch out on the streets, ball games and bowling alleys. I appreciate the need to fundraise for our school but I find the actual idea of having students out there selling stuff oddly uncomfortable.

On the other hand is it any different from the school fetes, sponsored walks and book fairs we have in the UK? The students seem to enjoy it and the school is well... chocolatey.


StephenB said...

I'm loving how America seems to have such a strong sense for Team Spirit. It really sounds like it brings everyone together, not just from the above example as well. I've noticed that American High Schools seem to have a huge emphasis on Sports Teams and Football, which I think is great. It's a pity Scotland doesn't have this attitude. As you mentioned, the UK does have it's fetes and book fair, but for the school years, you usually find that the people who participate in these events are sadly labelled "Geeks" or "Nerds". I think the UK could definitely take a leaf out of America's book when it comes to Team Spirt and Unity.

Mrs. O'Neill's Blog said...

I think you might be right there Stephen. America in general, perhaps because of its multiculturalism, has to work a lot harder at being unified. It becomes a sort of strength. Maybe it explains the American flags everywhere ;) There are 'cynical' students but they are, surprisingly,outnumbered a lot of the time.

Dorothy Coe said...

I don't want to sound all Scottish and Calvinist because I'm impressed by the way everyone in your school appears to embrace the team-building aspect of this project, but I'm struck by what an influence the Health Promoting Schools initiative has had in our area. Selling chocolate bars through school simply wouldn't come on our agenda here now!

Mrs. O'Neill's Blog said...

That's true Dorothy - and I must admit to feeling slightly ambivalent. America is a country of extremes. You've got supermarkets bursting with aisles full of expensive organic foods, vitamin supplements and just about every kind of 'healthy' product. There are constant concerns about food. Everything is labelled exhaustively. On the other hand you've got easily available and cheap foods with incredibly high sugar and fat content. In my opinion, it is even harder in America, than Scotland, to afford to eat healthily.
I don't want to be part of the health police- but like you - I think schools should model healthy eating. A hot issue...