My eldest daughter is only in kindergarten, yet I have already learned to loathe the school fundraiser.  On her very first day of school ... HER VERY FIRST DAY ... she came home with stacks of forms and a catalog of junk products that were to be sold to raise funds for her school.  Over the last five months, she has been asked to sell wrapping paper, nuts, black-and-white photographs (of herself I presume,) books, notecards, raffle tickets and cookie dough.  And there were probably a few others that I've forgotten about. 

Needless to say, when my daughter came home from school the other day with information about yet another school fundraiser, I cringed.  But as I read through the forms and sponsor sheets, I found myself actually getting excited.  For this fundraiser, my daughter didn't have to sell a thing, nor did she have to make anything.  This fundraiser was with Usborne books as part of their Reach for the Stars program.  And to raise funds for her school, my daughter had to ask friends and family to sponsor her for reading.  READING!!

Here's how it works: she askes folks to "pledge" a certain amount of money for the number of minutes she will read each day.  At the end of the fundraising period (2 weeks) she'll tally up her reading minutes, collect funds from sponsors, and turn it over to her school.  The best part?  She gets to use 50 percent of the pledge money she collects towards Usborne books for herself, her teacher uses 30 percent of the pledge money for books for the classroom, and the school librarian gets to use the remaining 20 percent for books for the school's library.  No peddling junk, no planet-trashing waste, just books, books, books for everyone ... I love it! 

As I mentioned, this particular fundraiser is with Usborne, but there is no reason that your school couldn't organize their own read-a-thon event as well.  It's a great way to raise funds and instill a lifelong love of reading ... without impacting the environment.  Now that's a fundraiser that I can get behind!

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