Schools often seem to be really into the idea of kids bringing stuff from home for parties and for crafting. (DC1’s middle school probably spends more class time making pointless crafts than any prior school year experience, even back when ze was taking a daily art class at private school. *grumble*. Also they seem to have a ton of pot-lucks.)
One of our new discoveries this year was that instead of trying to figure out how on earth DC1 is going to get a pie on the school bus and to an appropriate teacher without destruction (or worse, one of us having to drop it off at school!), was that we could just write a check or send DC1 with a $20 bill for these events and the teachers will use it to purchase whatever it is they’re asking for. This has improved our lives tremendously.
I do wish they could be a little bit more like the school back in paradise and just ask for a lump sum donation at the beginning of the year instead of these small sums throughout the year, but I also realize that where we live now doesn’t exactly have the same donations base that Paradise had so it’s not quite as easy just to ask for $500 and then have that be enough to cover all the kids who can’t pay or whose parents won’t pay. It turns out that there’s even a state law of some kind that says the orchestra can only do fundraisers to cut the costs of all tickets to events, not to make the events free for kids whose parents can’t pay. (It turns out, however, that directed donations can still be used for that purpose– I got a nice note of thanks with a receipt when we wrote a $64 check instead of a $32 check for DC1’s most recent orchestra field trip. $32 is a lot of money when you’re trying to make ends meet!)
So yay, even if they don’t always ask for cash, cash can still be king.
If you have school children (or if you teach), how does your school deal with needed stuffs? What would you prefer they do?