Oakland Schoolkids Sent to 'Panhandle' Daily

Students parked on streets to raise $175 a day
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jun 2, 2010 2:50 AM CDT
Some kids peddle their goods to BART passengers.   (AP Photo/Russel A. Daniels)
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(Newser) – Kids from a private religious school in Oakland are parked on San Francisco streets up to 4 hours daily to "panhandle," a local investigation has found. Students boast they make up to $175 a day selling snacks for the St. Andrew Private School, which is run out of St. Andrew Missionary Baptist church. The "fundraising" is part of Interpersonal Communications Class in which kids learn to "talk with the general public" and "make new friends," according to a school brochure.

Children are driven to the city by a man in a van who sometimes stays nearby, but often the children are alone, according to witnesses. Children have told passers-by by that they're raising money for a trip or to construct a 4-story school building. But the trip never materialized and the church has no permit for a new building. The church pastor told CBS5 the report was "not the truth," but refused to elaborate. It's unclear where the money is going and education officials apparently aren't monitoring the school's activities.

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