A doctor, a banker, a florist, even a ballerina showed up recently to “shop” at Eastlake Elementary School. It was all part of the school’s Kids Marketplace, teaching third-graders the value of education and how far a salary can go to purchase things we all need to live.
According to Eastlake principal Suzanne Williams, students were assigned a salary and occupation based on their grades. Using play money, students “bought” needed items, seeing how far their money would go to purchase the items, just like adults.
“It helps kids understand the value of good grades and making a decent wage when they enter the workforce in the future. Some students are dressed up in their ‘job’, but they are also wearing a tag with their occupation,” said Williams.
Students took it seriously, dressing professionally and making certain they had enough “money” to buy the items they needed. They went from booth to booth, exchanging their play money for goods and services, tallying what they spent their wages on at the various booths. There were booths for housing, groceries, transportation, medical expenses, and donations to charity, among other “expenses” adults encounter on a monthly basis.