The first and second graders hosted a very successful Snowflake Bazaar in December. In addition to giving people a good place to donate their unwanted goods, keeping lots of packaging out of the landfill, and giving their schoolmates a chance to buy inexpensive gifts for their families, the children raised $243.10 for a charity of their choice
The Snowflake Bazaar was part of the Trailblazers' study of economics. During the month of December they analyzed the difference between wants and needs. They discussed how people in different cultures and countries across time satisfy their basic needs for safety, shelter, food, warmth, and family. They grappled with how some things that might seem like a want (like a four wheeler) could actually be a need (if you live in a remote area).
The next step was to decide where to donate the funds based on what people need that they might not have. On the first day back from vacation the children viewed 5 videos from organizations that benefit children and their communities worldwide as well as discussing the importance of the Reading Food Shelf to people who live nearby. After viewing the videos, students were invited to make short persuasive statements to their peers about where the money should go. On Tuesday, they each got 15 beans (to represent $15) to give to any combination of charities they choose.
Click on the pictures below to learn more about the charities they voted on.
After much discussion and moving of beans from one cup to another, the class decided to spend their $243 as follows:
I'm very proud of the thoughtful and respectful discussion the children had about how to allocate their funds. As a final activity, they wrote letters and made posters for each charity describing how they made the money and why they thought it was important for it to go to that particular cause.