question for those with grade school kids

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Fran, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    My nephew came home from school just despondent. Evidently, there is something called candygrams that kids buy for individual kids in the class over V=day. The teacher calls out the name and the student gets a candy gram.
    Nephew bought several including the teacher. He says he was the only one who got nothing. Is the what happens?
    Back in the day everyone gave everyone a card or no one got one. Why would this be allowed? What an ugly popularity contest. I am heartbroken for him. He is already the smallest kid in the class.

    Hopefully baby sis spoke to the teacher yesterday to find out how this could happen.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Fran, yes this could happen.

    There is the regular class Valentine card exchange where everyone writes a card for everyone in the class. And then sometimes there is a fundraiser (for student government or other school organization) where students can buy (for $1 or so) a lollipop or other candy treat, write a message and have it delivered to someone special. My daughters have participated in this in the past at both public and private schools. And sometimes there have been hurt feelings because they have given more than they have received.

    I can certainly understand why your nephew is sad. It just shouldn't happen this way.
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    This same thing happened to my daughter where she was the only one who didn't get one and she was absolutely devestated. The kids were all required to bring Valentine cards for all the students but the student council did this candygram fundraiser where students buy for other students and those get delivered to class. She got along well with kids of both genders, but didn't have any best friend, hence no candygrams.

    Normally I would have made a lot of noise at school but I had some other stuff happening and didn't want to rock the boat. The next time they had something like this I think I gave my kids money to send to themselves or each other anonymously.

    Poor kid. I remember being absolutely heartbroken for my daughter.
  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Baby sis would have bought a candygram for nephew if she was aware that he would be left out.
    Thank you for the explanation. What an ugly thing to do to a kid.
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Something like that happened to my daughter once and she was absolutely heartbroken! Valentine's Day can sometimes get totally out of hand at the schools! The kids at our high school used to send each other flowers at school to be delivered during school hours! Of course, the local florists loved it but it got ridiculous! Girls would come up to boys and ask them to send them a flower ... my poor son went through one whole paycheck from his afterschool job doing this before he finally learned his lesson! I think the school finally put a stop to it.

    In elementary school, the way we did it as kids was sooo much better than a lot of the things they do now. We decorated cardboard boxes in art class to put the valentines in. Each kid was given a list of the names of the kids in the class and we would spend a whole evening writing names on little paper valentines and put them in our classmate's boxes the next day. We'd have a party in the classroom and sit there opening valentines and eating cupcakes that somebody's mother made! Things were so much simpler then. Most places you can't do that now and if you brought homemade cupcakes to school some people would react like you were the enemy who was trying to poison their children! How sad!
  6. ML

    ML Guest

    Yes, same stuff happened here and the kids are very aware of who got what. Manster bought more for himself than anyone else though so it worked out I guess in his case(selfishness/greed can have its place lol). Yeah, I don't like this situation either. I'm all for fundraisers but this dynamic needs to be addressed.
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Fran, I'm so sorry that your nephew's feelings were hurt. Valentine's day can be such a painful time for children who aren't at the top of the popular list.

    I think schools tried to get away from the hurt feelings by providing class lists and encouraging children to bring valentines for all their classmates. But then adding candygrams or other special greetings just defeats the purpose. Kids are still getting singled out.

    Give your nephew a hug for me.
  8. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Yeah, when I taught we had the same thing. Valentine cards were for everybody. The rule was, if you brought any, you bought them for everybody. But the fundraiser thing was sometimes a problem. I taught in a very small school so the people in charge made sure that everybody got at least one (they would send one anonymously to kids who didn't get one; other kids sent them anonymously so nobody knew) but I can see that that would be almost impossible in a larger school. Like a lot of things, it started out as a good idea to raise funds for a worthy cause, but sometimes the outcomes are unexpected. I'm not sure they should abandon the fundraiser because some kids don't get included though (they have to learn about the real world sometime) but having the parent send one sounds like a good idea. Isn't it too bad that no good deed or intention seems to go unpunished?
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    The next school over did a heart-shaped lollipop fundraiser for Haiti over the last few weeks. The K-Kids group and organizer sold them during school store times and events. They also sold smencils and t-shirts. Kids bought the items outright, there were no deliveries to classrooms for recipients. They raised over $1000.00 in 3 weeks (with no hurt feelings).
  10. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Maybe a better way to utilize that fundraiser is to purchase sweetgrams to be given to parents, grandparents, neighbors, siblings, ect. to be given from the recipient outside of school hours.

    I know that having things delivered during the school hours is fun but it just highlights the "Popular" kids sending a very public message to everyone else that no one likes them.

    difficult child bought candy cane messages for kids at Christmas. He did a GREAT job in writing them out. Very creative! Not just "Merry Christmas". He was not in school the day they were handed out (last day before Christmas break). I called and asked what would happen with his and was told they would be given to him when school started again. NOTHING! He never did get a single one! I am sure he doesn't remember or atleast has not said anything about it.

    Kids do not need to be put through this type of "lesson" - especially at a school endorsed activity. There is enough of being left out in everyday things - no need to create another way to make public that no one likes them.
  11. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Tired Mommy snuck in on me. I love the sell outright and no delivery tactic.
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Fran, I detest this practice. This is going on in our schools too. My kids begged me for money. Right now money is tight. I said no. Then Missy got a great grade on a test in a subject she's been doing very poorly. husband gave her $2., What did she spend it on? Lolligram at school. Now, easy child is crying, so husband gave him $1. because he got a good grade on his spelling. They both bought other kids lolligrams, but I can guarantee that neither of them will come home with one. If either do, I'll be surprised, but what if one comes home with one and not the other?

    The fifth grade class does it for extra money for trips or class luncheon at the end of the year, so I get it. However, this is another disappointing thing for some kids who spend money on the other kids but don't get one themselves.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    It can and does happen often. I know they do it here. I've always thought it a stupid idea myself.

    Travis was very fortunate he had sisters who loved him enough to send him a candy gram each year. Usually their friends would too.
  14. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    That's just awful. I'm heartbroken for your nephew, Fran. :9-07tears:

  15. jal

    jal Member

    We used to have something like this, but it was not until high school. You could buy a daisy to send to a friend or "boyfriend". It raised money for the class that held the fund raiser and was delivered with a message. I can't remember how they were handed out, but there were always people that didn't get one.

    difficult child had a Valentine's party and they all brought in snacks and cards, but yet my difficult child is in a therapeutic classroom with up to 6 children total, but it would have been done this way in any mainstream classroom here in our district.
  16. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    I am so not feeling it when it comes to exclusionary activities in a classrom social setting.
  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds cruel. We do not do this at our school and hopefully never will. Unfortunately, I think they do things like this at the middle and high schools.
  18. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It seems to me that it could be done but handled differently so no one is left out. My high school has a tradition of senior letters. During the last semester of their senior year, parents, family members, friends, and teachers are encouraged to write letters to the seniors which are collected and put into a folder. Each senior gets a folder on one of the last few days of school during a senior picnic. It is very touching to watch the seniors eagerly tear open their letters.

    Of course, there are always a few students with very few letters. Even their parents don't bother to write. Our senior sponsor keeps track of how may letters are in each students' folders and sends out a list a few days before the senior picnic asking teachers who taught the students who had less than five letters to write a letter for those students. The sponsor told me that she is touched at the response from the teachers to make sure those kids feel included.

    One neat story about the letters . . . I wrote one for a student in my Algebra 2 class a few years ago. I could tell that she was a difficult child even though she was never a problem in my class. I just wrote a few lines telling her how much I enjoyed having her in my class and telling her that I knew that she could be successful in life since she had all the tools and just needed to apply them.

    I saw the girl recently working as a sales clerk in a Michael's craft store. She brought up the letter (I had forgotten that I had even written her one until she brought it up) and told me how much it meant to her. She said that she was going to college part time and working part time. I was so proud of her and actually a little teary-eyed that she still thought about a letter that took me just a few minutes to write.

    I like the idea of opening the candy grams to family, too. Unfortunately, though, that probably will still leave some children without one. I agree with muttmeister that it is a shame that no good intention goes unpunished.

    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  19. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I loathe these types of fundraisers. Completely. I remember similar things as a child and being so hurt. Now easy child goes through it. She is often the one who gets nothing when the others all do. She refuses to send any out except to her teacher. They do this at Christmas, Vday, Easter etc. It is a horrible thing in my opinion. I know kids need to learn disappointment etc, but this is a brutal and in my thinking, cruel, way to learn that lesson.
    Last year she had me make homemade fudge for the whole class to give out with Valentines. she got 4 Valentines in return and only the teacher thanked her for the treat. Tough times being a kid nowadays :(.
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Geez. This is STILL going on? Our middle school and jr high and high school do Vday roses/carns. And candygrams for Christmas. It is a total popularity contest.

    I can remember 20+ yrs ago when this was done in MY jr high/high school. I NEVER, not even ONCE got one. You couldn't buy for yourself because the forms were all read by the popular kids running the booth and taking the money. Kids who bought for themselves were teased and ridiculed for MONTHS. Teachers allowed this because kids COULD send to themselves. They ignored the bullying about it.

    My group of friends settled this amongst ourselves by refusing to support ANY fundraisers by groups who did this (except one that let us have a "skip day" with no consequences for $5 to support soldiers). We would have a nice lunch where we each brought something, either in the yearbook room or at my house. I lived a 5 min walk from school and could put soup or stew in the crock pot to have ready for lunch, so it was easy. We even had lots of parking and teachers who would let us leave a bit early and return a bit late.

    This is a horrible horrible thing that makes FAR more hurt/bad feelings than good ones and is NOT worth the money spent on it. My kids don't even ask for money for this because they cannot see it as a useful way to spend money. I have provided balloons for entire classes at times, but never just for one kid. heck, our schools don't allow balloon/flower delivery for any child at school. Even our HS doesn't anymore, not since four couples got ENGAGED via flower/ring delivery. First it was Vday and ONE student with-an older boyfriend. the next day 3 more couples got "engaged". It was a BIG mess and school refused to allow kids to wear engagement rings on campus unless they were 18.

    I am sorry that more kids were hurt by this again.