CHESTERTON | Second grade students at Yost Elementary in Chesterton have been learning about economics by studying about wants, goods, services, consumers, producers and resources. As a way to apply these learned skills, second grade teachers Jade Navarre, Heather Dunkle, and Amanda Scully created the “Yosties’ Candy Crunchies Company”.
“We have been doing this project for six years now,” said Navarre. “We have had great success in getting the students involved in the program because it brings economics to life.”
The three classes, comprised of 60 second graders, worked in six assembly lines to create “Crunchy the Snowman,” a white chocolate dipped pretzel rod decorated to look like a snowman.
All three classes worked together to create approximately 450 snowmen. “Parents help us keep everything running smoothly,” said Dunkle. “The students learn how to work together as a team.”
Prior to the event, students visited the Albanese Confectionery in Merrillville to see just how candy is made in an assembly line. “We like them to see just how the process is run and how the workers wear hair nets and gloves during the candy making process,” said Scully.
Each child was required to fill out a job application and was assigned a job in the company. Jobs ranged from assembling the product to packaging and tagging. All the students helped with the marketing process by making in-school commercials and posters to advertise their upcoming project. Students received on-the-job training, and even earned a paycheck (class cash) for their hard work.
The students sold “Crunchy the Snowman” treats during their lunch periods to fellow classmates and staff. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a charity. The second grade students will be voting on the charity where they would like to donate the money. “We like to encourage giving to charity," said Navarre. “The students need to know the importance of giving back to their community.” The remainder of the profit will be used to fund the second grade mini-economy project which is a second grade student store, called Yost Mart, where students can spend their earned “class cash” on special goodies such as craft items, puzzles, games, books, school supplies, etc.
The teachers expressed how previous second grade Yosties have enjoyed and talked about this project so much that their younger siblings can hardly wait until it is their turn to make “Crunchy the Snowman” when they get into second grade.