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PES store supports CAWS, personal finance curriculum

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Photo submitted Paonia Elementary students are ready for the grand opening of their store, "Second Grade Friendly Goods and Services."

The art of persuasion led Paonia Elementary second graders on a community outreach journey. In January, the class chose to "persuade" people to support the Delta County Citizens for Animal Welfare and Shelter (CAWS). Students researched the positive impacts adopting and caring for pets provide for people of all ages. Research shows that pet owners live longer, happier, and more active lives. Simply petting a dog or cat releases endorphins, feel-good hormones that reduce stress. Spending time with a pet helps fight loneliness and evens lowers blood pressure. Who knew puppy love could be so good for us?

Students learned more about the work CAWS provides in association with Barkin Bargains Thrift Shop. They learned that proceeds from the shop support all aspects of CAWS. Children wanted to know how they could help with Barkin Bargains which is located just a few blocks away from school. Could a spring bake sale do the trick?

Well, yes, and then some. One idea led to another. Students designed their own dog and cat greeting cards, pet toys, and beds to be sold as a fundraiser for CAWS. The pet items were only one type of goods the second graders provided at their classroom store.

Their store, "Second Grade Friendly Goods and Services," was developed in connection with their economics and personal finance literacy standards. Through surveys and market research, decisions were made on which goods and services would be provided. What did their consumers (kindergartners and first graders) want? How would their goods and services be priced? What did the market analysis show? How would they represent the information in graphs to interpret?

The students were motivated to find answers to these questions. They applied economic analysis that created a busy classroom factory that produced catapults, piggy banks, crayons, barrettes, planters, fire-breathing dragons and inspirational magnetic quotes. They provided services -- fingernail painting, soccer/karate/ball handling tips and outdoor safety/education. Their consumers were eager to shop!

Through research, collaboration, and creativity, this year's second graders have learned to follow their hearts to persuade others to care about important community services. Sales totaled $336, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Barkin' Bargains and CAWS. The journey that started with "puppy love" has culminated into a lifelong lesson in the benefits of working together and reaching out to those who need help.

Photo submitted In their classroom factory, the second graders produced catapults, piggy banks, crayons, barrettes, planters, fire-breathing dragons and inspirational magnetic quotes.
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