The child has one intuitive aim: self development

Real Life Math: How 2nd and 3rd Grade Students Learned the Beauty of Giving Back

On May 9th, after weeks of hard work managing money collected from their class store, Ms. Robyn’s 2nd and 3rd grade class took their earnings to the cats and dogs. During the school’s Spring Student Showcase in April, this class managed a store in the lobby, selling bracelets, clay figurines, pillows, paper ornaments, and toys to raise funds to “Save the Animals”.

Continuing their philanthropic dive into the world of money and charitable giving, Pagosa Peak Open School’s students visited the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs with giving on their minds. The students bubbled with excitement as they left school. Once on the van en route, a student exclaimed, “We are on the magic school bus, going to see the animals!”

Upon arrival, half of the class played with cats and half went to play with the puppies and make dog treats. Then they switched.  The students spent $105 of their hard earned money on food and treats for the animals. They also donated $35.24 in a cash donation to help with the cost of vaccinations for the animals.

One student, Isaac, wanted to take all the puppies home. “I love them all!” he said joyfully. Oliver, another student, already has a puppy picked out to adopt.

This project taught our children more than a math problem. It taught retail concepts, marketing ideas, change-making skills and how to take a profit and invest it directly back into society. These students had an honest interest in money, and through a class-initiated project, experienced real life application. They learned how to get money, how to manage money and how to spend money to benefit others.

As Pagosa Peak Open School continues to teach through a Project-based learning model, we encourage our students to apply learning to whole projects that will stick with them throughout their lives. As 3rd grader Asha put it: “This is amazing!”


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