Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Knight Bucks Store

My kids' school is like the United Nations of our town.  We have kids of all different races, cultures, and nationalities.  When I walk into their classrooms, I am struck by huge diversity of colors and languages represented.  Our school is also a very poor school.  We have the largest percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunch in the city. But we have an amazing support system in our teachers, administration and community groups.
One way that the community and teachers serve our school is through the annual Christmas Knight Bucks Store.  Throughout the year the kids can earn Knight Bucks for good behavior.  Each child has a pouch or wallet to keep their bucks in and they can spend them on various things at school, such as lunch with a friend from a different classroom, special time to visit the principal, school supplies and more. And each year at Christmastime, the guidance counselor and librarian host the Knight Bucks Store.
The Knight Bucks Store is filled with items donated from local businesses (like Michael's) and community organizations (The Mennonite Relief sale typically donates their leftovers).  Each item is priced anywhere from 5 Knight Bucks up to 50 Knight Bucks.  The kids come in during their library time to shop and they are able to purchase up to 4 gift items for their family members.  For an additional cost, these items can also be gift-wrapped.
I have helped in the store since Frances was in Kindergarten.  I help the kids pick out gifts, take their money and then do the gift wrapping. They are so excited to buy gifts for their family members. It is a joy to listen to them explain who each item is for. As the kids get older, the gift choices become more meaningful; but the younger kids have such cute reasoning, I'm sure their parents will still be pleased.
This year I helped with two different Kindergarten classes, Henry's being the second one.  I talked with him beforehand about why I would be there and how he needed to keep his purchases a secret from me.  I missed his first two purchases because I was helping another student.  He was looking for something for Frances and his eyes just lit up when he saw a horse figurine on the table.  I also happened to catch a glimpse of a wire basket of goodies in his bag. He doesn't know I saw it, but I'm glad I did for the conversation that came the next week:
Henry: Mommy, what do you want for Christmas?

Me: Oh, I'm not sure honey.
Henry: Would you like a basket?

Me: You know, I was just thinking yesterday how nice it would be to have a nice basket full of goodies.

Henry: {eyes light up} Really?  I don't have anything like that. {Sly grin}

Me: Oh? Oh well. Maybe next year.

And then he turned to whisper conspiratorially to Frances about something that made them both giggle. 

I just hope Ken is as pleased with his stuffed dinosaur as I will be with my basket of goodies!!

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