An October 2010 article from the Boston Globe reported that a Massachusetts Elementary School was planning to sell ad space on school notices. The school, Peabody Elementary School, wants to make money off of ads on permission slips, memos, and school calendars.
According the article, the ads will be very age appropriate. Superintendent C. Milton Burnett said it could earn the school up to $24,000. You can read the full article here.
This has sparked a debate on whether or not children should be bombarded with ads on school material.
I’m confused, because this type of advertising has been going on for years. After all, local companies buy ads in the back of school yearbooks and even in some high school newspapers. Some schools have book covers with local ads and even advertising on the backs of t-shirts. And, of course, you’ll find plenty of mini-billboard ads on baseball fields. There’s also ads in the back of school play programs.
I personally find nothing wrong with small ads on school memos and material for parents. In fact, I give kudos to the school board for promoting the idea. They are working hard to improve the quality of education at the school, and this is one way to bring in more revenue.
$24,000 is nothing to scoff at. It could help bring new computer software to help children master new skills. It could fund new science equipment. It could even purchase more books for the library, and pay for educational guest speakers. It might even help fund an enriching field trip or two.
I support any type of method to help strengthen the school environment. If we focus on providing the best education for today’s children, we are improving the world of tomorrow.
I don’t think a few ads on school notices will be too commercializing. In fact, some of the ads could be very helpful for the families. It would be a great way for parents to learn about tutoring services, baby-sitting and birthday party venues. The local economy gets a boost, and the school gets more revenue. It’s a win-win situation.
Now, I could understand if the ads were everywhere. It would be upsetting to me if the ads were displayed frequently on classroom bulletin boards, hall flyers, and homework assignments. But, this is material that is intended for the parents, not the students.
I say any idea that brings money to improve a school deserves an A+. (Okay, I draw the line at some activities, but this one is a fantastic opportunity.) Peabody Elementary School could be a better place due to their creative fund raising tactics. And, parents could be more enlightened of the family activities and services in the area. It’s a wonderful idea.