Little Hands, Big Work
Many school fundraisers are discordant with the mission of the school for which they raise funds. Selling chocolate bars, wrapping paper, cheap jewelry, scrip… I challenge you to relate these activities to your school’s educational philosophy, let alone to the broader mission of teaching children. Look at your fundraising activities as a part of your school’s curriculum and consider: what exactly do they teach? Do we mean to teach our children that there is value in selling chincy things to people who don’t even want them?
At my children’s preschool, Whole Child Montessori Center (full disclosure: I currently chair the Board of Trustees), we do things differently. We run one and only one fundraiser each year, and it is an activity we can all be proud of. For a few years now, the families of Whole Child have gathered on a weekend in October at a local watershed a few blocks from the school to help restore it to its natural splendor. Parents work alongside children to remove invasive species and replace them with plants native to the region. We teach our children responsible stewardship of the environment in the most effective way: by example.
For the weeks leading up to Little Hands, Big Work, families collect donations from their communities of family and friends who want to pledge support for our school and for this activity. The money we raise does not go toward standard operating expenses—we cover those with tuition. Instead, these funds go toward financial aid for the next year, with a small portion set aside for the school’s emergency fund. This is also inline with the philosophy of the school. We are not raising funds to stay afloat, we are raising fund to help make the school affordable for more families.
tl;dr: This fundraiser…
- brings families together in meaningful activity
- endows in children a sense of stewardship for the environment
- helps make our school affordable for more families
If you want to support this type of fundraising and this preschool, please donate $5, $10, $20, $50, $100—whatever you can comfortably afford—by clicking the yellow “donate” button below. Thank you!