Monday, May 10, 2010

Lemonade for teachers

Remember lemonade stands? When I was a kid, if someone wanted to earn a few bucks on a hot day, they could make some lemonade and sell glasses to passing pedestrians or motorists. Maybe go a little further, and sell cookies or brownies or something. It was something of a cultural icon, featured in comic strips and so forth. Lucy even went so far as to sell psychotherapy.

Roll forward to these days of education funding cutbacks and I'm seeing lemonade stands with a difference: kids are selling lemonade and cookies just as before, but the money is being donated to a school PTA or Education Foundation (as the case may be) to help cover teacher salaries that can't be funded out of payments from the State. Sure, some of these 'stands' are bigger productions, organized by the PTA or school principal. But not all. Some of those little kids selling on streetcorners (now there is an image I didn't need) are donating their quarters to keep their favorite teachers in the school.

And it isn't surprising, seeing as they know exactly who is being cut. One morning last week when dropping my kid off at school, I saw a display of empty chairs with a teacher's name on the sidewalk of the drop-off circle. Some kind of post-economic performance art or something, apparently organized by some parents.

Even Brownies aren't safe. Brownies and Girl Guides have been selling cookies for ages to support their programs, but I saw an email yesterday afternoon saying the Brownies are going to donate part of the proceeds.

Please, support your local schools.

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