1709178986 Why do schools in the US rely on kids to | mnfolkarts

Why do schools in the U.S. rely on kids to raise money? : Planet Money : NPR

LEFT: Maria Lares is a longtime teacher and PTA Treasurer at Villacorta Elementary in La Puente, CA. RIGHT: Sophia Fabela (left) and Samantha Nicole Tan (right) are two students at Villacorta who consider themselves pretty good sales kids.

Sarah Gonzalez/NPR


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LEFT: Maria Lares is a longtime teacher and PTA Treasurer at Villacorta Elementary in La Puente, CA. RIGHT: Sophia Fabela (left) and Samantha Nicole Tan (right) are two students at Villacorta who consider themselves pretty good sales kids.

Sarah Gonzalez/NPR

Fundraising is a staple of the school experience in the U.S. There’s an assembly showing off all the prizes kids can win by selling enough wrapping paper or chocolate to their neighbors. But it’s pretty weird, right?

Why do schools turn kids into little salespeople? And why do we let companies come in and dangle prizes in front of students?

We spend a year with one elementary school, following their fundraising efforts, to see how much they raise, and what the money goes to.

The school – Villacorta Elementary in La Puente, California – has one big goal: To raise enough money to send every single student on one field trip. The whole school hasn’t been able to go on one in three years.

We find out what the companies who run school fundraisers do to try to win a school’s business. And we find that this bizarre tradition is … surprisingly tactical. That’s on today’s episode.

Today’s show was hosted by Sarah Gonzalez and produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Jess Jiang, fact checked by Sierra Juarez, and engineered by Valentina Rodríguez Sánchez. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money’s executive producer.

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Music: Universal Production Music – « No School No Rules, » « Give ‘Em That Old School, » « Penny Farthing, » and « Back to School »

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