The Cougar Shoe Store opened for business this morning in Centennial Hall, a collaboration between Collegiate School Kindergartners in Beth Anne Shelly’s and Elizabeth Andrews' classes to create a shoe store to learn about economics and empathy.
For the project, now in its third year, students visited Richmond-based Saxon Shoes to tour an authentic shoe store. They researched the types of shoes sold in the store, how the shoes were grouped and displayed, how the storeroom was organized, where the cash register was located and how it worked, and the responsibilities of the salespeople.
The students then collected shoes from the Collegiate community to sell in their store, and read two books, Those Shoes and Stand in My Shoes, that helped them understand about wants and needs. As a service learning aspect of the project, the proceeds will be donated to United Methodist Family Services so that the organization can buy new shoes for foster children.
The project incorporates math (sorting, measuring and graphing), social studies (alike and different), economics (goods vs. services, buying/selling, supply/demand) and Responsible Citizenship (developing empathy for others), says Kindergarten teacher Beth Anne Shelly.
As teachers of the youngest Cougars, Mrs. Shelly says she and her fellow faculty members share the big responsibility of building the foundation for Responsible Citizenship with each new group of Kindergartners.
“It’s our job, through this entrepreneurial service learning experience, to teach these little people how to think of others, empathize and do something kind,” Mrs Shelly said. “It helps them feel important and proud of the difference they can make at age 5 and 6!”
Click here to view a “commercial” for the Kindergartners’ store.