BIRTHDAYS: Ask the birthday kid to bring a favorite new book with intentions of donating it to the school library. Special stickers can be placed inside the book stating “This book honors (insert name) on his (insert age) birthday on (insert date)”. Everyone should sing happy birthday too. (That’s a lovely gesture on a special day)
HALLOWEEN: Why do the kids need more candy than what they trick-or-treat for on October 31st? Have the kids come to school dressed in their customes, study the history of the holiday and move on to math.
VALENTINE’S DAY: What a terrific opportunity to get kids writing! Each kid brings Valentines for each classmate signed with a little note (of course this works if they have the ability to write). Non caloric goodies like colorful pencils or stickers attached to Valentines are a fine giveaway. Study the history of the holiday. And again, move on to the next lesson.EASTER: This is similar to Halloween. Why more candy? They are going to get Easter baskets full of it on Sunday.
GOOD GRADES: Are you kidding me? Giving kids ice cream parties if everyone in the classroom scores a B or above on the spelling test? The incentive for good grades should not be food. The incentive for good grades should be an internal drive to do well and succeed. Food should be eaten for hunger, not motivation to perform.
When I was growing up in the 1970’s I don’t ever remember having food in the classroom other than the lunch my mom packed me Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and the hot lunch school provided on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And we ate the food in the lunchroom…at lunch time. Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled. Our culture is too caloric. Schools need to take action, set policy for no food in the classroom and concentrate on providing education, not calories.