BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS IN SCHOOL
The Marlboro Township Public Schools strongly supports and encourages the recognition of a child’s birthday during the school day. It is an annual milestone in every child’s life that should be celebrated not just at home, but in school as well, where children spend one-third of their day with teachers, classmates, and peers.
However, while there are many wonderful and creative ways to celebrate a child’s birthday in school, birthday celebrations shall not include food treats.
There are several compelling reasons for the school district to eliminate the practice of parents/guardians providing food treats in school as part of their child’s birthday celebration.
- Conflict with healthy eating messages taught in health and physical education classes
- Collectively, time taken to distribute and consume birthday food treats significantly reduces instruction time in the classroom
- Regardless of care taken, prevalence of food allergies district-wide could result in a student having a severe allergic reaction to an ingredient used in preparation of a birthday food treat
Instead, the focus should be on recognizing the day in a variety of special ways that do not include food treats, including:
- Class sings “Happy Birthday”
- Morning “Happy Birthday” PA announcement
- PTA/O provides token non-food gift
- Principal/VP visits classroom with birthday certificate and token non-food gift
- Donation of book to class library/read to class
- Student reads favorite book to class
- Parent/special someone reads story to class
- Class creates crown or card that everyone signs
- Student leads class in game
Distributing gifts or gift bags of any kind to classmates will not be permitted. Bouquets of balloons and other celebratory decorations will not be permitted in school as they can be distracting to students’ learning.
Each elementary school and the David C. Abbott Early Learning Center may vary its non-food birthday celebration practices by school and by grade.