Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"And Rent-a-Center..."

Last week I was a Junior Achievement volunteer at Cherokee Park Elementary. It's a school in a high mobility district and the student body is comprised almost entirely of minorities.

I loved it. And, they loved me.

My first grade class was so in tune to the things I had to teach them. I taught them about families and neighborhoods and the difference between a "need" and "want." I told them about my job and I even taught them what "skills" were and what businesses were.

They caught on really quickly to the concepts. When explaining to them what businesses were, the kids yelled out things like "Mc Donald's" and "Brookshire's." It was great. They understood. Then a little girl said "the check cashing place is a business" and some other kid said "And rent-a-center is too."

Wow.

I've never even been inside a "check cashing place" nor have I been inside a "rent-a-center." The teacher said that it's different teaching kids like the ones at Cherokee Park and other poorer schools in the parish because they have to face different realities than kids in suburbia.

That really stuck with me.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I own rental property and am always amazed that people rent furniture, big screen TVs and washers and dryers. They always seem to have cash for cell phones and cable/dish TV. So much for yard sales and thrift shops.

Diane Haag said...

Great point Ashley. Folks in poverty deal with a whole different set of cultural norms. I wouldn't know the first thing about renting furniture or pawning something. It's sad, fascinating and sometimes impressive to see how resourceful people can be.