dearmargaretDear Margaret: My son's elementary school is doing a fund raiser in which each child is to sell six items from a catalog. At the end of the competition, those children who sold six or more items are treated to a fun party with a bounce house, refreshments and prizes. Those children who were not able to sell the required number of items stay behind in the classroom. My son is always able to sell the six items (with my help) to family members and friends. I'm really upset about this whole competition because it's unfair to those children who don't have the support of their parents or guardians or don't have the money to meet the goal. This same competition is run every year. How can I handle this properly?
Unfair Competition

Dear Unfair Competition: I agree with you. I would start with the teacher to gather facts, such as how many children are really excluded. Discuss with her what can be done to make this equitable for all children, and offer whatever help you can, if the teacher is willing and understanding. If your concerns fall on deaf ears, speak with the principal. If all else fails, contact the school board and voice your concerns. Fund raising should not be a mandatory part of an elementary school child's educational experience. Certainly offer to assist with the fund raising efforts on behalf of the less fortunate children if the school proceeds with this competition, and solicit help of other concerned parents.

Click Here to write to Dear Margaret.  Margaret Snow is a Life Coach in Ithaca, NY.