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East 2nd Grade Restaurant Teaches Life Skills

“People don’t believe that kids can run restaurants, but they actually can.” 

Those are the words of Ozark East Elementary second grader Cora White. And she’s right, kids can run a restaurant. Second graders at East Elementary proved it April 26 when they served lunch to family, friends and the community. This was the culmination of an economics unit where students learned about spending, savings and loans, restaurant management, and goods and services.

“It’s fun because you get to feel like you are actually working at a restaurant,” said second grader Jack Woods, who worked as a cashier. “I’ve learned that you should save more than you spend, because if you just spend something on whatever you want, you won’t have money to spend on what you need.”

Teacher Stacy Yerby said although the restaurant is a lot of work, it’s the highlight of her year. 

“This teaches life skills. They are communicating with others and taking all of the things they learn at school and applying them to real life,” she said. “We want to make a memorable experience for kids so they can learn these concepts. It ties into our economics, our math skills, and it’s great interpersonal skills.”

Students have had their part in every detail of the project, from taking out a “loan” at the bank, to filling out an application and interviewing for their positions at the restaurant, to setting up the restaurant.  

The menu consisted of a hot dog, chips, a cookie and a soda, much of which was donated by Texas Roadhouse. Parents, school personnel, government officials and police officers took the time to come out and support the students — all while getting a delicious lunch prepared and served by an adorable staff. 

“Everyone in the community who came — I can’t thank you enough for this support. It was great to see you all,” Yerby said.

Ozark East 2nd Grade Restaurant Teaches Life Skills