As part of the International Baccalaureate program at Lafayette Park International Elementary School in Kokomo School Corporation, third graders participated in the 5th annual Boom Town project. The project introduces students to global markets and practical business skills from how to price items to advertising, marketing, and the concepts of supply and demand. This year students created a store where items priced below one dollar were sold to invited family members and students from other classrooms. Students raised over $725 that they donated to the Kokomo Humane Society.  Kokomo Schools shared a touching story about the project and reaction from the recipient of the donation.

Lafayette Park 3rd-graders donate Boom Town profits to Kokomo Humane Society

For the third-grade students at Lafayette Park International Elementary School, Boom Town has become an annual event, and the 2016 profits from the International Baccalaureate project were booming for the Kokomo Humane Society.  After earning $725.92 from the Boom Town project, the Lafayette Park third-grade students made the decision to donate that amount to the local humane society, and because of an anonymous matching grant donor, their donation meant that $1,451.84 was placed in the Kokomo Humane Society Building Fund.

“I am so impressed by, and grateful to, the Lafayette Park International third-graders for their hard work while fundraising such an outstanding donation for the Kokomo Humane Society’s building fund matching grant,” Karen Wolfe, Kokomo Humane Society Executive Director, said. “I do not believe that the local humane society has ever received such a large donation from any single school; let alone from a single grade. Kokomo Schools should be proud of the generosity shown by these Lafayette Park International students. “

Mrs. Wolfe then apologized for “gushing … but I was so touched by the Lafayette Park students’ kindness.” She added that the gift reminded her of a quote by Mahatma Gandhi: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Boom Town has become an annual event at Lafayette Park Elementary as the culmination of an IB economics unit.  The program teaches students about global markets and offers them practical business skills, such as how to price items.

“This service project fits in nicely with the IB program,” Lafayette Park third-grade teacher Ms. BethAnn Heuermann noted. “As part of the project, kids create stores. We talk about advertising, marketing, and supply and demand.”

This is the 5th year Boom Town has occurred at Lafayette Park, and its growth surprised even the third-grade teachers, according to Mrs. Amy Henderson.

“We begin the unit by discussing supply and demand,” Mrs. Henderson explained. “Then we discuss different stores and organizations in Kokomo and around the world that are a success in the business world. That takes us to brainstorming ideas for stores within Boom Town that students believe will be successful.”

For Lafayette Park Principal Tammy Tickfer, Boom Town was a great example of helping the International students “to think globally while acting locally,” which is a goal of the IB program.

“Boom Town really just brings global issues to a level that our students can understand and helps the students truly make an impact locally,” Mrs. Tickfer explained. “I’m proud of these third-graders. They did a great job. The products they created were wonderful.”

Considering that no item in any Boom Town store can cost more than one dollar, the amount of money raised in 2016 surprised even the four third-grade teachers – Mrs. Henderson, Ms. Heuermann, Katelyn Ward, and Katie Suter.

Students from other classrooms, and invited parents, pay 25 cents for an admission ticket and then are allowed to shop for Boom Town items that cost between 25 cents and a dollar. Among the items sold at the 2016 Boom Town event were face-painting, paper airplanes, bracelets, posters, bookmarks, holiday ornaments, and temporary tattoos.

“We realized that the students understood the concept of supply and demand when one group raised its prices when they could see they definitely were going to sell out,” Mrs. Henderson explained.

As part of the holiday presentation, the Lafayette Park 4th-grade Student Council donated more than $500 that was raised during the 2015 Boom Town project to the Lafayette Park 2016 Holiday Walk, which supplies Christmas to local families.

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