A hard sell

To the editor:

When my kindergartner came home with her Reader’s Digest school fundraiser envelope, I felt a little annoyed. Earlier that day, she had attended a school assembly where she had picked up phrases like “fabulous prizes” and “world’s finest chocolate.” I could see that the consumption marketing machine had gotten to her.

In fact, she was desperate to win the poorly made plastic incentive prizes: light-up pocket flyers, filter optic pens, and hydration station drink pump and plastic light-up cup. She was primed to sell, sell, sell. And I, as I mentioned, was annoyed.

Still I wanted to support my daughter’s school. Moreover, I wanted to support the efforts of our PTA, who work very hard year round. Therefore, I decided to buy an item. I browsed through the fundraiser catalog several times before I gave up. I simply couldn’t get the image of my 5-year-old attending the motivational all-school assembly out of my head. I could clearly see her sitting on the gym floor receiving instruction on the selling points of Reader’s Digest “World’s Finest Chocolate”; it was disturbing. Needless to say, I opted out of the fundraiser and, in its place, my family gave extra support to the annual school carnival.

I mention all of this because I was particularly impressed by Schwegler Elementary’s green fundraiser, which was featured in the J-W’s Thursday, Oct. 4 edition. Kudos and super congratulations, Schwegler and Westar Energy! We can all learn from your inspired collaborative green school fundraiser.

Kelly Jones,