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September 18, 2007


Catherine K.

At our elementary school, it's a tradition for the 5th grade class to hold a fund raiser to leave a legacy to the school -- a gift of some sort. In the past, those fund raisers have been junk food sales. When my daughter was in 5th grade, 3 years ago, a friend and I organized the 5th graders to participate in a "Fit and Fun Raiser." The kids picked the gift they wanted to leave to their school. Then, they signed up to participate in any or all events (one-half or one mile run, obstacle course, situps/pushups, etc.), and went out to collect pledges from friends, family, and neighbors to sponsor them.

That small class of about 60 kids raised more than $3,000, and had a blast doing it. When I walked around with my daughter as she collected pledges, most of the aduts loved the idea of not buying junk (or junk food) that they don't need or want, and of the kids doing something positive to raise the money.

It's become a much-anticipated event among the 5th graders now! Last year, my son's class raised enough money to purchase a group Dance-Dance Revolution system and TV for the school -- they're heroes to the younger kids who get to play in gym this year!

Jean Saunders

Fit and Fun Raiser, what a great idea!
And, we'd love to hear more about how your school uses the Dance-Dance Revolution system.


A good fundraiser that is healthy and educational at the same time (not to mention profitable and easy) is the ChicoBag. Its a reusable shopping bag that provides an alternative to plastic bag waste. The kids love it too!

Catherine K.

The gym teachers use the DDR system in class. I don't know if they've yet developed a specific curricular unit around the game -- it's so new to the school -- but they have used it many times this school year. Two of the mats are connected to the system, so those kids are the "leaders," and the remaining smaller mats are set up behind the leaders so the kids can play along. I believe we have enough mats so half the class can play at a time.

At our middle school (I have 2 kids there), we have a Fitness Club that is partially PTO funded. Sixth graders held a "track a thon" and collected pledges to raise money for equipment maintenance. The fitness room includes treadmills, stair machines, weight machines, as well as DDR and other interactive, active games. Kids pay a membership fee, and can come as many times as they want throughout the year. Gym teachers staff the club every day (usually 2 mornings and 3 afternoons). They will develop customized fitness programs for kids who want it, but for the most part, they just direct the kids on proper form, encourage them, and make it a fun place to hang out and exercise!

Now, if we could just shut down the pop machines and get the "home ec" teacher not to teach a unit on deep frying (including deep-fried oreos), we'd truly have a model school!

Steve Savage

Its shameful that we have to force our kids to do fundraising. I hated it when I was in school, and I feel so badly for the children that meekly go to strangers doors trying to sell candy bars, wall candles, or other bizarre things which mainly benefit the scam fundraising companies.

Perhaps our government should fund our schools over and beyond what is requested rather than spend hundreds of billions on faraway wars that don't matter.

Don't we have laws against child labor anyway?

Nell Floeter

A fundraiser that fulfills many needs is "Original Works." This is the original art-based fundraiser that prints your students own artwork on a number of different products. It supports children's self-esteem, creativity, art appreciation, schools, and creates products everyone is thrilled to buy and give as gifts, or hang onto as keepsakes, a record of your child's development. No trans-fats in this fundraiser, it's purely positive. Check the website at originalworks.com. I am a mother, art teacher, volunteer, trust me!

Mike Wapner

For a unique fundraiser with a very strong educational content, check out Lights for Learning, managed by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. The kids get to sell compact flourescent bulbs. Along with getting part of the money, the school gets access to instructional material on energy efficiency. There are also program representatives to do presentations at the school. Here's a link to the web site with more information:


My daughter's school just finished a cool new fundraiser with DDR. Collections were less than with a previous catalog sale but profits were significantly higher as we kept nearly all the money. The company that created it seems interested in the kids success and bringing DDR to both the schools and homes. their web address is www.digitaldanceathon.com They do provide those dreaded prizes but these seemed fitness based so I was not as bothered by it.

Fund Raiser

Yes, I definitely agree on using food or other educational means as a school's fund raising venture. First, it can help them become more responsible to themselves or to the community, second, the projects can be helpful at certain degrees, and third, it won't harm their nutrition (like what is mentioned above).

Another option could be posting or starting with the a fund raising activity online.


Scrip is an excellent fundraiser, because you only spend money on what you normally buy using gift cards - no extra money comes out of the family's pocket and money is raised with each purchase.

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