Students at Red Deer’s Aspen Heights Elementary School invited the community to see the society they created.
The K-5 school’s MicroSociety, which received the Canadian Education Association’s Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning last year, hosted its annual Micro-Night Thursday.
Allan Baile, MicroSociety co-ordinator, said students always get excited for the Micro-Nights.
“They’re really pumped to bring all our guests in here and to sell to them and explain to them what we’re doing in our mini-society. It’s really important to them, and they take it very seriously,” said Baile.
The K-5 school’s MicroSociety has students create their own miniature country with an elected government, entrepreneurial hub, non-profit organizations, marketplace, courts, police, post-secondary institutions and gathering places.
The program was introduced at the school nine years ago.
“The kids are getting a real understanding of what it’s like to be out in the real world and to be involved in stock exchange, bonds, investing, saving and spending their money wisely and what it’s like to be an employee.
“We’re building on those skills they’ll require when they get older,” said Baile.
About 300 people attend each Micro-Night, Baile added.
Eric Dubois, father of a Grade 2 student at the school, said the MicroSociety program really works.
“All the little ventures they put on teaches them a lot. My daughter was telling me about market surveys the other night. I couldn’t believe that,” said Dubois.
He’s impressed by all the different sectors of the MicroSociety.
“They’re seeing a lot of what mom and dad see every day,” he said. “They’re getting up, going to events, being responsible, and they really seem to own what they want to do.”
Dustin Macdonald, who has two children at Aspen Heights, said he’s impressed by the program.
“When I was younger, we didn’t have anything like this – we just had street hockey. But I think it’s good, and gives them something to do.
“It teaches kids about money and working at a young age so they can maybe value it a little better,” Macdonald said.