Northeast Nodaway third graders visited a tree farm and purchased gifts for children in need on December 6.

Matthew Fletcher, Austin Adwell and Drew Dack place toys they purchased to donate under the tree.

Matthew Fletcher, Austin Adwell and Drew Dack place toys they purchased to donate under the tree.

While teaching an economics unit in her social studies class, third-grade teacher Heidi Beatty asked her students to participate in a project to help them learn the vocabulary of needs, wants, goods, services and savings.

Beatty had observed this project as a graduate assistant at Horace Mann under teacher Lynette Tappmeyer. Beatty said she liked the project and wanted to incorporate it into her own classroom. She stated she loved seeing the smiles on the children’s faces, even though she is an adult, she still gets excited about going to the tree farm.

Each child was asked to earn money at home by doing chores and performing services for their family. They could only earn 25-50¢ per chore and had to record their services on a savings sheet. Each student was to save at least $6 for the field trip.

From the money earned, students paid $2.50 for admission into the Schweizer’s Orchard tree farm, St. Joseph, $1.50 toward purchasing a live Christmas tree and $2 for a toy donation for a child in need.

After visiting the tree farm, students ate lunch at Geno’s Pizza, St. Joseph. Then, the students went shopping at the Maryville Dollar Tree to purchase their donated items. This year, the items were donated to the Abrielle Neff Foundation, Maryville, in honor of Parker Wilson, son of Dave and Cindy Wilson, who died in an accident.

The class decorated their tree together, filling the area underneath the tree with the presents they chose to donate.

“I look forward to our annual Christmas tree field trip day every year to kick off the holiday season. It’s a day spent with kids who earned their own money, quarter by quarter, to attend,” Beatty said. “It’s important to me to share my personal family traditions and values with the children who are a part of my family at school. Kids are sincerely happy to be a part of an experience I hope they won’t soon forget.”