Students buy Angel Tree gifts

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Some middle school students learned about economics and giving during an activity at Dollar General last week.

About 15 sixth-graders from Lunenburg Middle School arrived at the town’s Dollar General with Ruthie Kinker, a math specialist for the Lunenburg County Public School system.

According to Store Manager Darrell Badley, the students were there to shop for gifts for the Angel Trees at the school. “The principal, Dr. Stanislas, assisted in making this happen,” said Kinker.

The students were shopping for three different angel tree children. Each Angel has a specific list on it and shoppers had to find those gifts while staying within a certain budget.

During their shopping trip, students learned about counting money and budgeting, according to Badley.

“The goal in this project is to apply real life math skills,” Kinker added. “Students use a plethora of math SOLs to do this, such as figuring percents,

adding, subtracting and multiplying with decimals.” Kinker noted that students did use economics and many reading skills during the exercise as well.

Though this is Kinker’s second year with the school system, but it is the first year the school has held this program with the students.

“The real learning comes from the empathy and compassion they employ when they realize that these gifts are for Angel Tree children,” said Kinker.

She said students instantly changed their decisions and became more empathetic with the angel tree children after picking out gifts for them.

“They become more fiscally responsible and try to do their best by these kids,” Kinker said. “It is a joy to watch.”

Kinker said she would like to see this program take place again next year.