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The Milton Measure

Lower School Families Prepare Swap-It

by on Friday, October 14th, 2011

Parents organize, sort, and clean Swap-It items in preparation for next week

Benjamin Scharfstein/TMM

Swap-It items appear organized and ready for next week

Each year during the third week of October, the indoor tennis courts transform into a huge, crowded yard sale that Milton families fondly call “Swap-It.”

As the name suggests, Swap-It presents an opportunity for donors to give away the miscellaneous items lying around their homes so the items can be sold at discounted prices to anyone in the Milton Academy community, and eventually to anyone in the town of Milton.

Swap-It, which began in 1950 to raise money for the then new Junior Building, is organized by a Swap-It committee comprised of K-8 parents and two chairs who rotate each year.

Over the past 60 years, Swap-It has grown so large in size that it has been moved from Thatcher to the largest space on campus: the ACC. According to Ms. Pennini from the Middle School office, faculty, staff, and parents sign up for Swap-It shifts and spend hours sorting, cleaning, organizing the donations for the sale, managing the crowds and working the cash register.

The money raised in the sale


is used in various ways by the K-8 division to support its branch of the school. All kinds of things, from designer jeans to Halloween wigs to toys and books is donated to the sale by Milton Academy families.  Many items also find their way to the ACC through outside donors.

One of Swap-It’s most convenient aspects is that

items are arranged by category and price. Even better, Swap-It items can be purchased on IA cards, “invisible money” as some people like to call it.

Additionally, Swap-It items actually decrease in price as the week goes on and the supply thins out – by Saturday afternoon everything is half-price and on Sunday morning each item is only $1.

Around 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM on Sunday—the sale’s final hours—buyers will have the opportunity to fill large bags with items and pay only $5 per bag.

When Swap-It ends, remaining goods are donated to a church in Haiti and various other local charities.

For the Milton Academy upper school, the highlight of Swap-It might be the Student Activities Association (SAA) run Swap-It Dance on the

Saturday night of the sale week

Asia Wells (I), one of the tri-heads of SAA says that Swap- It is planned like any other school dance, but is often considered the most successful and the most fun to attend.

SAA created the dance 11 years ago with the idea that students could have an opportunity to wear some of the crazy and unbelievable things they had purchased during the week at the sale.

People have been spotted breaking it down as Teletubbies or princesses, in plaid and prints and wigs and neon and often in matching or coordinating outfits with their friends.

The allure in Swap-It lies in the randomness of it all – the fun is in the mystery, possibility, and sheer amusement of sorting through the multitude of items that Milton Academy families have owned. The true Swap-It gems are gone in a heartbeat, as lines rapidly form at the entrance and the cash register.

If you intend on going at all, you’d be best off going as early as possible.


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Posted by on Oct 14 2011. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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