I just had to post this to share with everyone. I have had some problems with the school as it was, but I finally decided I needed to write something to let them know my discontent.
I’m writing in response to the NED (never give up, encourage others, do your best) assembly program that was brought into the elementary school on 5/19/2009. I have to say that I’m rather upset that a program was brought into the school and allowed to mercilessly advertise their merchandise and try to make an extra buck off our children and ultimately, us as parents.
This morning, my son and I had quite the talk regarding the “necessity” of having these NED show yo-yos. This talk was after the tantrum when I explained that we didn’t have the money to buy all the different types of yo-yos that the program had. When I saw that NED show was on the list of events on the monthly calendar, I actually looked up the program on the internet to see what they were about. I really like the concept but feel that instead of portraying that concept, what the kids actually gleaned from the program was the NEED to purchase yo-yos and do the tricks. But not only that, but that the tricks HAD to be done with those yo-yo’s and only those yo-yos. I asked Zachary directly exactly what the program was about and his answer: “Doing tricks with yo-yos and buying the yo-yos”. I understand that I have some special circumstances with my son; however, I fail to believe that he is the ONLY child that came away with absolutely nothing but tricks and yo-yos in his eyes from that program.
When sending our children to school, we expect them to be there to learn and be educated, NOT to be set in front of a commercial. As parents, Chuck and I limit the amount of time our children watch t.v. and which t.v. stations they watch, partially because of the amount of advertisements on many channels. We live in a society where people believe they need to have everything that everyone else has and we’re trying to teach our children that material things are not the way to happiness. Having a good education, being good to others, being a hero to the point they can as a student IS what is important.
So we send them to school, and they are inundated with more and more things to buy (scholastic book fairs, scholastic flyers, fundraisers, and now yo-yos). Then, considering the students see them and are told about buying that AT school, they feel it’s something they HAVE to have in order to be successful at school. Now, I understand the necessity of fundraisers in the time of schools losing government money and having to make tough choices, but maybe a little bit of tact would be something to consider. While the schools are having difficulty, so are many, many families in our community and the constant begging for our school-age children to have something else they saw at school is rather upsetting.
I originally thought that maybe the school paid money for this program, in which I would be very disappointed that monies ultimately deriving from us as tax-payers would be paying for such a program. However, I have a suspicion that NED programmers were asked to come into our school system specifically with the understanding that they would be hawking their wares to our children. From the NED website: “1. FREE The NED show is free when your school chooses our “no-fee option”. By giving a little of your time and by making NED items available for your students to purchase for five days following the show, you are bringing our $1,200 program to your school absolutely FREE. We also pay the state sales tax and return freight.”
In that case, shame on all of you for not seeing this as the merchandising scam that it is.
In contrast, there was a program just the day before this one for the 1st graders concerning BATS. I have no idea how much that program cost to bring to our schools, or if the bat lady did it simply so more and more people could learn and understand bats, but our son learned something from that assembly. He came home that night so excited to tell us all about bats and where they live and what they eat, etc. That is the type of programming that I would expect my child to see when being sent to school.
Again, I do like the concept of the NED program and can see the necessity and good that such a type of assembly can do for the students but feel it was gone about in a completely wrong manner. I know of a school assembly that accomplishes the same goal of this assembly (giving the students self-esteem and helping them to understand the necessity of being a hero to those around them) without the commercialism. If you are interested, I’d be more than happy to help with it.
2 months ago