In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 29, 2009 / 11 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Please, no school fundraisers in this family

By Betsy Hart

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When I was a kid, I used to color rocks and sell them door-to-door. I usually did pretty well with that. Sometimes I would concoct knickknacks with yarn and hawk those, too. And when it came to selling Girl Scout cookies, I was the champ three years running.

But a fundraiser for my school? Such a thing was unknown.

What a different world we live in. It's now expected that my kids will become a sales and fundraising force for their public schools this time of year. So far, there has been a press for my children to get involved in two wrapping-paper sales and a magazine drive. Cookie-dough and "coupon card" sales are common in the higher grades.

And that's just in the first few weeks of school.

According to the Association of Fund-Raising Distributors and Suppliers (AFRDS), America's schoolchildren are now raising some $1.7 billion a year for their schools. The companies behind these fundraisers, which often entice the children with competitions and prizes and trinkets, have retail sales of about $3.7 billion a year.

I have no problem with fundraising companies in general making money. They provide a valuable service. I do have a problem with my kids being a captive audience for them.

I decided a while ago to put the kibosh on any and all fundraising by my kids for our local public schools. Given what my neighbors and I pay in property taxes, I refuse to allow my children to shake them — or me, or even their own grandparents — down for more. Moreover, keeping track of all the sales material, money and paperwork involved is incredibly time-consuming, and I don't have time to spare.

Plus, I don't actually want any of the stuff being sold.

Across the country, such fundraisers are often sponsored by a school's Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) or other parent group. Such groups then take the proceeds and buy "extras" for the school, which could be anything from gym equipment to an additional teacher's salary.

But in my community, the K-8 schools are funded to the tune of $7,500 a year per child. That comes out to somewhere between $175,000 and $200,000 a year for every classroom full of kids!

There is enough there for "extras."

Make no mistake: I am very happy with my local schools. I think the teachers and administrators are terrific. I realize that with four kids in the mix, I'm getting a good deal. But the public schools simply don't need my children to raise money for them.

So these days my children know to not even bring home the fundraising materials. I don't appreciate that my children have been in tears over not being able to "win a prize," but we seem to have gotten beyond that. Fortunately, my kids can and do put that time and energy into things like church-service projects, where their efforts are really needed, instead.

Yes, in the past my family has participated in the fundraisers. I admit it. Where it began to change for me was a couple of years ago when my youngest was 6. To my chagrin, I found her and a friend going up and down the street with little buckets telling the neighbors that they were "fundraising." They weren't even offering colored rocks or yarn trinkets. At least then I might have admired their entrepreneurialism. They just expected to be given money. Worse, the neighbors were complying! Both sides had, apparently, been conditioned by the fundraising mania.

As I marched little Olivia back down the street to return her ill-gotten gains to her creditors, it was then that I decided ... no more of this with my kids. The local public schools will do just fine without them.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

"It Takes a Parent : How the Culture of Pushover Parenting is Hurting Our Kids — and What to Do About It"  

"Hart urges parents to focus...on instilling industry, frugality, sincerity and humility. She encourages parents to reclaim the word "no." Contrary to advice you may have received, you needn't give your child choices, or offer alternatives, or explain to little Suzie why she can't eat eight cookies right before bed-you're the parent, and sometimes you can just say no."

  —   Kirkus Reports

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