Graham Mesa students learn how to budget |

Graham Mesa students learn how to budget

“Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.”

— Japanese Proverb

Tuesday, May 7, 2013, is National Teacher Day and May 6-10 is National Teacher Appreciation Week. It is a great opportunity to thank a teacher.

Everyday in schools across Western Garfield County, Colorado and the United States, teachers touch the lives of millions of children. However, a teacher’s work and impact reaches far beyond the boundaries of the classroom. Over the course of a typical K – 12 academic career, students spend nearly 12,000 hours in school being inspired daily by their teachers. Teachers touch lives, grade papers, prepare arts and crafts projects, inspire, design assessments, motivate and meet with parents. Teachers spend countless hours to ensure students’ success.

“Few other professionals touch as many people as teachers do,” notes Dr. Susan Birdsey, superintendent of Garfield School District Re-2. “We are so proud of the work that our teachers and staff do every day to help prepare our students for whatever comes next — the next grade level, college, the workforce and becoming great citizens. One week is not nearly enough time to celebrate all of the great work these folks do every day.”

This week, take a moment to thank a teacher. Thank them for helping a child learn a new word or develop a new passion, and for inspiring the next great generation of doctors, engineers, musicians and, of course, teachers.

Learning Happens Everywhere

That was the mantra last week when about 400 Graham Mesa Elementary students and family members descended upon the Rifle City Market for math night.

“It is important for students to learn about math in the community. They need to be able to use math when they are shopping with their families, and we want parents to get some ideas of what they can do to help their children with practical application of math at home,” said Maggie Brooks, Graham Mesa Elementary kindergarten teacher and one of the organizers of the event.

Grade level teams from Graham Mesa developed age-appropriate activities for students to complete. Kindergarten had a station in produce, and students were asked to weigh different items, determine which weighed more and figure out for example, how many oranges weigh the same as a small watermelon.

First-graders were given a pictorial scavenger hunt and asked to round the prices of a variety of items, while fourth-graders received a harder, more practical task — planning their own fourth-grade graduation party with a budget of $100. Students had to plan the menu, purchase necessary supplies, and keep a running total to ensure they didn’t go over their budget.

Aiden Diaz was planning quite a party. His list included a chocolate cake, hamburgers, hamburger buns, ketchup, mustard, pickles, chips and soda, and he still had about $50 left for some ice cream and other items.

Graham Mesa Elementary Principal Heather Matthews was excited for students, families and City Market alike.

“This was an unforgettable experience for parents to partner with their children as well as a super opportunity to establish real-time partnerships with the community, said Matthews.

“The level of math conversation in the isles was amazing. Parents were asking their children about rounding, weights and measures, and budgeting. They were engaging their children in practical application of math.”

Parents also liked the concept of Math Night in the community. Melody Caldwall thought the event was a great idea.

“This is awesome,” she said. “My sons are learning how to shop and manage money on a budget.”

Stephanie Hernandez with the Rifle City Market was initially unsure how the inaugural event would turn out, but she was thrilled with the response.

“This is awesome. The kids are engaged and enjoying themselves, the teachers and the customers are all having a great time. This is a great community event that is bringing so many people together to support student learning,” she explained.

If you have questions or comments about any of the information above, please contact Garfield Re-2 Director of Districtwide Services Theresa Hamilton at 970-665-7621.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User