Charity Argument The question in Cohen’s column is a very complex one. Should school children be offered a reward for charitable donations? The main purpose for charity drives at school is to give to the needy but a close second purpose is teaching to give and be selfless. Providing incentive- bonus points- sends the wrong message to students, not encouraging them to give for the right reasons. This exact event occurred at my high school. Our history teacher offered us bonus points on an upcoming test if we could bring in ten items for the canned food drive. Students were thrilled to receive this opportunity. One boy, however, seemed less enthusiastic than the rest. Thinking of his family situation and apparent money problems, I realized why. He knew he would have trouble coming up with the ten items to donate, if he would be able to get them at all. This realization made me feel terrible for the boy and guilty myself for not even considering the obstacles for others upon first hearing the proposition. I concluded that offer was completely unfair and no one was going to help or consider those who couldn’t bring the ten items. The main issue in this question boils down to higher individuals on the economic ladder not caring or failing to realize the struggles those lower down the ladder face. As cruel and inconsiderate as this accusation sounds, it happens every day. Wealthy people tend to think about what THEY can afford and what THEIR families will have. How about the lower class family who has to pay the exact same price for health insurance? The mom and dad working all they can but ends still not meeting. Should we not do something for them? More obtainable and realistic prices for the necessities in life? Usually these people get pushed to the back of our minds and we once again fail to realize the needs of the needy. “Rewarding students for their donations enforces the habit,” I once heard an administrator say when questioned about the bonus point issue. Should giving not be the reward in itself? Too often we expect something in return for our “good deeds.” How can this system be fair when one child can not possible come up with the money to purchase the items for the drive? Opportunities such as this one should be equally obtainable for all students. When faced with similar issues, the best thing to do is think of every person that will be involved-every single one-and consider any hardship or unfair requirement they may face. Thinking of those less fortunate than yourself will prove to be a needed and considerate action.
Sponsorship Argument Today’s public schools have money problems all the time. Local businesses that are willing to support school activities should be supported and allowed a “reward” for their donations. In this case, the reward would be advertising. The benefits received greatly outweigh any negative consequences from sponsorship deals in schools.
Sponsorships allow students to have the necessary tools to participate in the activities they want to be involved in. A big donation from a local bank allowed my school to build a nice new football stadium. This donation was very appreciated by school administrators, teachers, and students but more importantly, by the community as a whole. The band improved its reputation and undoubtedly increased business by using the new quote “community involved.” Everyone took notice of the generosity, yet no one seemed to mind the small bank advertisement sign placed on the score board. A similar event happened with our school’s cheerleading squad. They desperately needed new uniform for their growing team but were left with very little money from the administration’s budget. A local law firm donated the rest of the money needed to cover the cost of the uniform sin exchange for a small ad on the cheerleader’s page in the sports program. In both of these examples, the programs got what they needed and everyone benefited in some way. Community support is wonderful because it shows schools the community is behind them. The advertisement exchanged in return for sponsorship is extremely valuable to businesses. School media reaches a vast audience including almost everyone in a community. Teen consumers, sure to see the advertising at school, make up a very large part of the economy. Some may say sponsorship instills the wrong values on our children by allowing them to rely on others to get what they need. But should our school not be required to provide students with the appropriate materials, space, and training to do what the want? Sponsorship fills the gap between school funding and being able to provide students with what they deserve. Mostly, it is the extracurricular activities that are left out of the budget. These programs, though not as important as coreclasses, teach valuable lessons of teamwork, dedication, and perseverance. Without them a vital part of education would be lost. Corporate sponsorships allow schools to provide students with the materials they need to participate in the activities they enjoy. Community support goes a long way and can benefit all parties involved.