Elementary School Carnival Ideas

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Teacher claims she was fired for Trayvon Martin fundraiser

Teacher Brooke Harris of Michigan's Pontiac Academy for Excellence claims she was fired for helping students organize a fundraiser for the family of Trayvon Martin.  Trayvon was fatally shot earlier in the year. The case is getting national news attention.

I wasn't familiar with the shooting, but more recently, the news is about teacher Brook Harris being fired allegedly over a school fundraiser. 

That's her claim anyway.  Take a look here for more of the story. http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/315072/28/School-denies-firing-teacher-for-organizing-Trayvon-Martin-fundraiser

The superintendent suggests insubordination as the cause.  If you're not familiar with this, you may want to take a bit of a look into it.


So, without judgement on the shooting or the teacher firing, let me say that school fundraising news like this is troubling.

School fundraising should be about a large sweeping campaign that raises significant funds in just a few short weeks.  All for the benefit of learning!  Then, as quickly as it swells, it should disappear allowing the money raised to make an impact inside the classroom.  Let children learn on Smartboards and iPads.  Let new books inspire passion.  Let music, art and digital endeavors enrich children.  Let collaborative learning happen.  Bring on teachers with passion!

Although I think there are some great lessons to be learned from individual fundraising efforts and charity fundraising, I think schools have a responsibility to take care of home base first.  These days, there's a lot to improve without looking outside the walls of the schools.  The superintendent says something like this in the video above, although, it seems a bit out of context and actually a bit confusing.

My records indicate the the Pontiac Academy for Excellence is a Title 1 school.  Let's face it... They have needs inside the classroom that are very likely not being met.  Especially, not in the ways I mention above.  So, organized important fundraising that makes a difference to each and every child inside the classroom is what seems most needed, barring intervention from the state of federal Governments.

Hey, I think I'll just get into trouble talking more about this so I'll wrap it up.  In the world of fundraising as I see it, anything that demands significant attention but raises rather insignificant funds, allows participants to feel they have done their part for the school.  In this case, a $1 donation could mean $100 is not raised through an organized fundraising effort.  It could mean that there is less support for upcoming events, etc.

Students can, and should, do what they feel is important within the community to show their support for causes that are meaningful to them.  Schools should also encourage generosity!  But schools that do not focus on how they inspire children, inspire nobody.  Without funds, schools can quickly become average places for average learning - devoid of passion. 

That's why fundraising needs to be more than individual efforts... it helps children find their passion.

Ok, until next time!


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