Have you ever stood in the aisle of a grocery store or any other store and wondered what to pick? Has price been on your mind while standing there? Did you have to go back and forth with the items you already picked? Did you fumble counting the change the cashier gave? A routine that so many of us go through daily, and it still doesn’t get old. What would happen when children walk into a store with a limited amount of money and the humongous task of saving a portion of it. The daunting task of counting the change at the cashier and coming back home with the things that parents would approve. So how did champions at Nurture Kids Afterschool fare when they did something similar? At Nurture Kids, there is a constant effort to push the envelope, encourage kids to try things out of their comfort zone, and give equal importance to extracurricular activities and academics. As part of these endeavors, the center organized a field trip on March 29th, 2019. Students at the Nurture Kids Afterschool Center located in Fremont Hub went to Target accompanied by their teachers with $15 and two clear instructions; they had to save $ 5 from their allocated budget and buy things only from the food and stationery section only.
For most people, the idea of a shopping trip with children involves tantrums, some tears, and the need to discipline in between picking items, and a constant battle at the cashier to add more products. This trip was anything but that. Every student who went on this trip understood what they were asked to do. For them, the exercise of having to choose an item from each aisle, check for prices, go back to pick another piece if it did not fit the budget, standing in line to get the article billed, and saving dollars from the budget of $15 was no mean feat. An exercise that adults consider a daily chore; for these students, it was an opening into the world of the buying power. A society that gave them exposure to the concept of choice, an idea so powerful that it leaves most adults perplexed. The ability to choose defines how situations in life will be handled and learning this at a young age through different experiences can be a powerful tool.
This field trip helped the students understand the power of money, and at the same time, it taught them the value. Their budget was limited, and in that limited budget, they were required to save, buy their favorite things and from two sections. The excitement on their faces, that feeling of being an adult for a brief period, the curiosity to go home and tell their parents, the happiness with having bought something on their own was infectious. Each student surveyed the aisles in the two sections, carefully checked for prices, debated on whether to buy the product or not, and how much should they save and then bought the products. They did not disappoint. Some of them saved more than $5 and went home with their prized possessions. The question that arises is that, was it the first time that they chose things on their own at a store? Maybe not. But their independence in making a choice, dealing with money is what stood out in this field trip. It may not have been a grand activity; but in little time, budget and resources it taught the kids how powerful the freedom to choose could be. It is these small lessons that will help them navigate through life’s situations when they grow up, and that is the aim of Nurture Kids. To create smart, aware, and confident citizens, who are ready to take on the world not just academically, but in every aspect.