This week, my son received a letter addressed to parents of Skyline Elementary students stating that the Skyline Parent Teacher Association (PTA) wanted to make some changes to class parties this year. The PTA wants to conform to the new Health Wellness Program that the Sedalia School District adopted last year and have asked parents to not provide any foods like cupcakes, cookies, candy or treat bags for any class parties. The Skyline PTA will now provide every child in every class with pretzels, Cheez-Its and juice instead.

Tiffany Rettke, the Room Parent Co-Chair for Skyline Grades 1, 2, 3 said they made this decision recently.  According to Rettke, the decision was made in partly for financial reasons.

“We voted on this at our PTA meeting this month. Since there were a lot of classes not getting parties or anything sent in from parents. A lot of the PTA members thought it would be a good idea to just go ahead and pay for the parties. For example, I was room mom for my son's class last year, and I was only sent in $12 for the whole year for parties. So instead of relying completely on parents we thought PTA could help out more.”

The decision to have Cheez-Its, pretzels and juice was a consensus of the Skyline PTA in an effort to not affect kids with allergies so all can enjoy equally.

So far, the changes only effect Skyline Elementary in the Sedalia School District.

Personally, I have kids in this school and I think while I can appreciate the financial reasoning, I have to think of the great memories of the treats we'd get. Unfortunately, those treats don't exist anymore in classrooms because they were homemade ,and only processed food is allowed as snacks.

How about instead of Cheez-Its and pretzels, you get fruits and vegetables or non-sugar sweets that you can find in just about any candy store today? You can still have all the fun of the memories of candy and not have any guilt associated with it. It seems to me that kids should have the opportunity to have their party and indulge a little. I also think it's a bad double standard that the PTA will have bake sales and ask students to sell things like cookie dough and other snacks in catalogs.

There are a lot of varying opinion on this decision. Here are some comments from some of our listeners via Facebook:

  • “I've been doing the room parent thing for a long time. In my experience, most of the time the kids were too busy having fun to eat the goodies anyway.” -Terri Ballard
  • "Personally, although Cheese-Itz and pretzels aren't the 'best' thing, I agree that it's a good idea to limit candy, cupcakes etc. They are a better alternative. I think it's a step in the right direction. My kids don't need any extra energy from candy.” -Andrea Kimball
  • Erika Malone said, “None of those food items are truly 'healthy.' Sounds like they are just trying to avoid food brought from home. Why even worry about having food at the party? They would probably have enough fun just playing games!”
  • “My favorite party ever was in 4th grade (might have been 3rd grade). We watched a movie and had fresh popped popcorn and Luigi ice pop triangle things - lemon flavored! Snacks can be a lot of fun, but the choices listed are lousy. Raisins, grapes, unbuttered popcorn, pita chips, hummus would all be better choices." -Kathleen McGrory
  • “I think it's a darn shame the kids can't have some sweets on special occasions...that's what I always looked forward to at school parties (and still do!!) - gosh we could even have homemade treats and we got some really good ones over the years." -Susan Daniels

What do you think of this decision?

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