Fundraising in an Elementary School

Back in the Philippines, I remember pageants and lotteries as ways schools use to raise funds. In "The Culture of Beauty Pageants in the Philippines", Teresa Martinez writes, "The wisdom of holding beauty pageants is especially evident in fundraising activities since most families will back up their candidates by buying tickets." Lottery tickets can be also successful if the prizes are attractive. Such fundraising activities, of course, are not necessarily signs of a collaborative community. Last night, I had the opportunity to attend a fundraising in my children's elementary school. It was a spaghetti dinner, a fundraising event of the fifth grade class in the school.

The school cafeteria was packed. Some had to wait to be seated.

The fifth graders, their parents and teachers are serving spaghetti, lasagna and salad.

Of course, there was dessert.

The fifth graders were waiting on tables. Each fifth grader had a piece of paper to mark orders. The prices in the menu are nicely rounded so the children could actually do the arithmetic in their heads. The dinner was held simultaneously with a health fair event sponsored by Inova Health System. There was even a Zumba session held in the school gym.

Obviously, my children had fun by spending time with their friends.

I was likewise enjoying the dinner that I did not even notice that the principal had taken a photo of our table.

It was a great hit. More importantly, one could see a community working together. The parents and teachers were there, but it was likewise clear that students were much part of the event. The event was unmistakably a manifestation of the school's collaborative character. After all, Mason Crest Elementary School was the recipient of the first annual DuFour Award, a recognition of the school's professional learning community.

This poster inside the cafeteria was indeed a sign that students were indeed a major part of this fundraising event. My children and I are happy that we're invited.