William O. Schaefer Elementary School students learned how to be budget savvy with the help of Tappan Zee High School students as they shopped for their families at the SOCES PTA Penguin Patch holiday sale last week!
Last December, TZHS Business Team Leader Darrell Flynn brought students enrolled in business classes to work with WOS as they were shopping at the holiday store to help them to stay within their budget. This year, Flynn and WOS Principal Sheila Beglin brainstormed on ways to help students in grades K-2 both before and during the holiday shopping. “We received a lot of positive feedback from last year. After last year, we discussed expanding our participation this year to include a video and activity to help WOS students understand some basic financial concepts. We noticed that many of the WOS students didn’t understand that they needed to budget the money they had to spend on their family’s gifts,” explained Flynn.
Flynn asked students in TZHS Art teacher Leigh LaBrake’s TV Production class to create a brief video to give students shopping tips that would be shown in classes before they visited the shop. TV Production student Luca D. wrote the script and filmed the video with help from Hela G. and Ben N. “For the script, we had to describe how to budget correctly and to make sure they get presents for each person on their list. We had to make it age appropriate so we had to simplify the language but also make it fun and engaging so I used winter-themed backgrounds using the green screen to keep them entertained,” said Luca.
TZHS Business teacher Andrew Bimonte’s Career and Financial Management class also created an activity and worksheet that allowed students to see samples of items that would be available and their cost. This way, they could simulate the shopping experience and know how to avoid going over their budget. Tenth graders Eva F. and Keira L. created the activity and senior Asia A. put the finishing touches on the activity and worksheet. “I was given the presentation with all of the budgeting information on it and then Mr. Flynn asked if I could make it more playful and child-friendly to make it easier for the kids to understand while keeping it visually engaging. I hope that the students had fun with it and were excited to participate,” noted Asia.
“We believe this cross-disciplinary project helps both groups of students involved. The TZ students share their knowledge of class concepts from TV Production and Career and Financial Management with future Dutchmen. The WOS students get a head start on understanding financial concepts that most elementary students don’t get exposed to,” said Flynn.