Linda Tutt High School in Sanger, Texas, has opened a grocery store. This in itself is laudable for providing a needed resource for food insecure families, but it also remarkable for empowering students with the ability to help with their families’ basic needs.
But it gets better: the grocery store does not accept cash; it accepts good deeds as payment.
I cannot even….
I think this is brilliant and beautiful. Not only is it a vital response to the most basic of human needs, the very bedrock of Maslow’s hierarchy, but it is teaching kids something that will likely take them further in life than the Pythagorean theorem or SAT vocabulary words. Positive referrals (another novel concept that more schools ought to implement) and chores around campus earn students points they can use towards groceries. In a time where families are increasingly insecure and education is reinventing itself, this is a model we should all take seriously.
Schools everywhere provide access to community resources and non-profits in order to help underprivileged families. But I really admire how this model places so much autonomy in students’ hands, and it encourages positive behaviors to boot. This is the education that students need right now: How can I take care of myself? How can I do good for others? The pandemic will leave us with plenty of hard lessons learned. Linda Tutt High School has created a positive lesson for its students and the community, and it should serve as a powerful example for the lessons we should be teaching and the kind of creative thinking we need to deliver those lessons.
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