What does running a business and supporting a cause have in common? For Stadium Drive Elementary School second-graders, it meant giving back while having fun.
Last week, the students hosted a carnival to learn the basics of economics while benefiting Harvest for Hunger, a community-wide campaign that raises food and funds to stock local food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.
Teacher Brittany Krestel said it's never too early to start teaching about finances or serving the community. One way to present those lessons was through the operation of a carnival.
The students in Krestel's, Jesica Koehler's and Debbie Seifert's classes put on a carnival that included a wide variety of stations. Each first-grader and kindergarten student received four tickets to use in the carnival. They also earned extra tickets by bringing in canned goods.
"The goal was to learn economics while supporting Harvest for Hunger," Krestel said. "The students earned two additional tickets for every can of food they contributed. This is the second year for this program. Last year, we raised 1,500 pounds of food for Harvest for Hunger."
The carnival was open April 4 through Friday in the school's science lab, where the students created booths and parents provided supplies like popcorn, suckers, games and face paint.
Students could use their tickets to purchase candy or popcorn, visit a petting zoo that consisted of more than 40 stuffed animals, get their face painted, or play a variety of games.
Krestel said it seemed as though the students were going to exceed last year's donations, but the most important thing was that they learn a valuable lesson in business and working with customers.
In the end, Krestel said, everybody was a winner.