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Kindergarteners Raising Money?

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: At what age do you feel it is appropriate for a school to begin requesting a child raise funds by getting sponsors for activities such as walkathons?

My kindergartner came home with a request, indicating rewards for participation and most money raised, etc. I feel she is way too young,especially since she doesn't know why she is collecting money or how it will be used or the benefit to the school.

A: I am in complete agreement with you regarding schools using their "captive population" of students to raise money for a multitude of causes. We have all had our doors knocked on far too many times by sheepish kids being told this is the only way they can do something special in school.

The notion that rewards for participating and raising the most money are being dangled in front of kindergartners is revolting and shameless. Taking your young child on a walkathon to help fund research to cure cystic fibrosis in kids can be explained to her and she can feel good about participating. What you describe her school asking of her does not remotely fall in this category. Schools can always say they need more money - this is not a way to go about it. I would see if you could get some other parents with similar views to present your collective opinion (and perhaps alternative fund-raising proposals) to the school administration.

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Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.

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