…by Anura Guruge
Let me first state my concern, as I see it, and then work backwards from there.
From what I can see (and get told) there are kids at ACS who for whatever reason do not have access to the 50 cents required to get these Friday afternoon ice creams thus creating what I consider to be an unnecessary and uncalled for ‘have and have nots‘ scenario — furthermore doing this in the last session of the school week so that the ‘have nots’ have the whole weekend to cogitate about it.
Ice creams for nearly all kids is a very visceral, emotive thing especially if they are not getting it while others around them are. To them it is a punishment, a major deprivation.
What I am hoping to do is to find a mechanism whereby we do not create this ‘have and have nots’ situation each Friday.
Yes, I know, very well to my cost, that life is not fair and equitable, and to Deanna’s constant chagrin I tell the kids about this on a regular basis because in my opinion they might as well come to terms with this as soon as possible. But, this does not mean that I want all kids to learn, at an early age, that life is not fair and for them to learn that bitter lesson through not being able to buy ice cream.
So how did this issue come to ahead. I gave Teischan a dollar bill last week (after I talked her doctor into making her have a blood test for allergies) to buy ice cream. Deanna had told her on Friday morning to use the dollar bill, get the 50 cents change and save that for next week. One of her kids in her class, that we do know (and know her parents quite well), according to Teischan badgered and pestered her to have the 50 cents so that she could also get an ice cream. I am delighted that Teischan gave her the 50 cents. That is my daughter. [That is upset her, we put down to her being 6.]
My issue is WHAT would have happened if Teischan did not have 50 cents to give to this 6 year old child?
I see a couple of ways we can try to fix this.
What I do not know is whether this ice cream is covered by the subsidized/free school lunch program. I also know that we do have a program to collect money for those kids that do get ‘subsidized/free’ school lunches to tide them over the weekends when they don’t get a school meal. Basically we need some kind of program to make sure that all kids at ACS that want ice cream and are permitted to have ice cream, it sans health issues, can have the ice cream WITHOUT the 50 cents being an issue.
I know the PTSA raises all sorts of money for various activities. Didn’t they spend $3,000 on some new equipment for the play ground?
Option 1: The PTSA should find a way to eliminate the 50 cent issue. Yes, I understand the issues and the logistics but they are not insurmountable.
Option 2: SCRAP the ice cream on Friday program. While I appreciate that it is a nice way to wrap up the week, the program we have does not reward all. For health reasons alone ice cream may not be the ideal treat. I am not sure that having ice cream on Friday in any way improves the academic standards at ACS. If the staff at ACS genuinely believe that the kids have to be given something sweet on Friday lets shoot for yogurt or fruits or both. Maybe cheaper. I bet if you substituted some other means of fun, live entertainment or a PIXAR 4 minute video, the kids may not miss the ice cream.
Yes, IF I had the money I would pay for the kids to have ice cream on Friday. I am sure if the Principal feels that oral gratification is the best reward for the kids at ACS we can find some sort of sponsorship deal in Town.
All I am asking is that, as with the seating in Grade 1, that we look at this issue.