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Author Bio: Ruth Spiro is the author of Lester Fizz, Bubble-Gum Artist, as well as Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering! and Baby Loves Quarks!, forthcoming from Charlesbridge Publishing. Her essays and articles have appeared in many national magazines and popular anthologies. She frequently speaks at schools and conferences. Visit her online at www.ruthspiro.com. Learn more about Bubble Gum Day at www.bubblegumday.com.
Previous Bubble Gum Day Post: Celebrate Bubble Gum Day by Shannon Miller.
My name is Ruth Spiro. I’m a writer, children’s book author, and bubble gum fan. I have two kids, and it seemed they were always participating in school fundraisers that required them to sell things to people, and they were uncomfortable with that.
Bubble Gum Day is a way for schools to raise money, without kids having to sell stuff. I thought it would be cool to have lots of kids all chewing gum and raising money on the same day, which is why I created the holiday. It’s held on the first Friday in February, so it always falls on a school day.
The idea is simple: On Bubble Gum Day, kids pay fifty cents to chew gum at school, with the proceeds used for any project or charity the school chooses. Kids have fun, teachers can incorporate lessons related to gum, and money is raised for many worthy causes.
Nine years later, this holiday has been celebrated in countless schools, public libraries, children’s museums and community organizations. It has also been featured in the media, including The Washington Post Express, The New York Daily News online and Good Day Sacramento.
Most importantly, schools and community groups have used Bubble Gum Day to do some wonderful things. Once school raised enough money to buy a goat for a village in Africa through Heifer International. Another used their proceeds to purchase snacks, which they sent to soldiers in Iraq. Yet another school collected used books instead of money, and wound up with over one thousand books, which they donated to local women’s shelters.
When Bubble Gum Day is over, the fun doesn’t end, at least not for me. I eagerly anticipate the emails, photos and packages of letters I receive over the following weeks, as schools tally up their proceeds and continue to make Bubble Gum Day a sweet success!