By Finn Bullers
With school ending today, Corinth Elementary third-grade students in Prairie Village are jumping into summer prepared to wheel and deal at their neighborhood lemonade stands.As part of a fourth-quarter economics lesson, each of the school’s three third-grade classes created a “mini society,” complete with their own name, laws, flag and currency.
Young entrepreneurs gathered one day last week to sell their creative wares on market day and take their first step toward a career in capitalism.
“Students learn a lot about being producers and consumers,” said third-grade teacher Kara Chastain who teamed with colleagues Kathy Sine and Molly Floyd-Molzer to pull off the project. “They also develop some money-management skills and have a better idea of how a society works.”
Alora Bullers, 9, a third-grader at the school, went to class one day last week prepared to sell 36 small Tupperware containers of multi-colored goo to her classmates. Next to her stood friend Olivia Elroz, who was selling sets of two bouncy balls.
“Some of the creative, biggest sellers were: lava lamps, homemade dog treats, sock creatures, pillows, jewelry and fake moustaches,” Chastain said.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, members of each class created their own society. They spent the quarter earning a daily income and being fined for breaking classroom laws.
To keep her goo fresh, or so she insist — Bullers stayed up past midnight with her father to play Ms. Science Gal in her quickly assembled kitchen chemistry lab.
There, she mixed Borax laundry booster, food coloring, clear and white Elmer’s glue and water to turn liquids into solids to create a rainbow burst of gelatinous goo — a science kit playground of polymers. Jell-O, rubber bands, plastic soda bottles, sneaker soles — even gum are all forms of polymers.
“Awesome,” was the young entrepreneur’s response as she watched the molecules in each liquid bond, in some cases creating the all-too-real appearance of snot.
She spooned each glob of goo into a clear plastic container, snapped on the blue lid and affixed a reflective sticker on the top. Then, she wrote “Goo” on the sticker with a thick, black Sharpie.
One report has it that another young goo-maker — Ashley Garverick — sold a similar slime, but her polymer creation glowed in the dark and sold for $85 a container.
That prove stiff competition for “Alora’s Gooey-Goo” that undercut Garverick’s price and sold for $40 a container. And isn’t that a guiding principle of capitalism?
In the past, students have created pillows, hand towels, badges, gadgets and doo-dads, all with the idea of creating low and selling high.
“The kids love the mini-society project,” Chastain said.
After months of development, Prairie Villagers will at last get a look at the Village Shops’ highly anticipated new restaurant and movie theater concept this weekend. STANDEES – The Entertaining Eatery opens for business Friday in the space formerly occupied by Macy’s Home Store and Einstein Brothers Bagels
STANDEES, which has three movie screens, will open at 11 a.m. each day for lunch and will serve until late closing. The restaurant has been going through shake down events this week to get ready for its public opening at lunch on Friday.
The three theaters have 30-foot screens and have an average of 85 seats. With 30 seats on the outdoor patio, the restaurant can hold approximately 240. The opening weekend movie lineup includes “The Great Gatsby,” “Mud” and “The English Teacher,” which will only be shown in New York, Los Angeles and Prairie Village this weekend. Movies are priced at $6.75 before 6 p.m. and $8.75 after 6 p.m. 3-D movies have no additional charge.
The concession stand has traditional theater items, but also small plates and bar drinks that can be taken into the theaters. The restaurant menu items range from $5 to $25 in American classic-style. The kitchen focuses on locally produced food wherever possible. Eight local companies were partners in the development of STANDEES from construction to food strategy.
CEO Frank Rash calls it “an upscale-casual restaurant with an entertaining twist. STANDEES has everything you need for the ultimate everyday escape.”
Rash hopes that the STANDEES concept can be replicated in other cities, but the Prairie Village location is the first.
The movie bookings are designed to appeal to adult movie-goers and could include showing events and performances as well as movies. STANDEES will employ 90 people and Erik Hess is general manager.
It’s looking all but certain that Prairie Village won’t have a Water Show this July for the first time in more than 50 years.
Prairie Village Assistant Danielle Dulin, who oversees the city’s pool operations, announced this week that the city had failed to find a coach for the synchronized swimming team this year — meaning the annual July Water Show is off.
The team was in danger of having its season canceled last year for lack of a coach as well, but Nancy Morgan, a former team member and coach, stepped forward at the last minute to head up the program.
But Morgan has switched jobs (and is working part time on the side) and now has a schedule that won’t permit her to coach this summer. Dulin said the city had approached a handful of other potential coaches, but none were able to commit.
Morgan, one of the program’s biggest advocates, said the news of the team’s demise has hit her hard.
“I was really struck by how disappointed I was by the news,” Morgan said. “The program has been such an excellent way for girls to combine athleticism and grace, and work as a team toward the water show. There is a quality about the evening of the water show that is like a step back in time. A glimpse of small town America. After over 50 years to have Prairie Village lose this unique program and event is disheartening.”
But Morgan holds out hope that the team may be resurrected in coming years.
“I don’t think there is a loss of interest in the team, but rather an inability to find a person with the time and experience to be the head coach,” she said, adding that she held out hope that someone who hears about the situation may still step up to save the team. “I would hope that if the right person stepped forward to take on the coaching position, the city would reconsider its decision. As for future seasons, I would happily coach again next year if the opportunity arose.”
Fairway will start a special collection for brush and limbs that fell as a result of Sunday’s intense winds this Tuesday, May 28.
- Collection will begin on Tuesday, May 28. Public Works cannot tell ahead of time exactly when they will be by a particular residence as collection amounts will vary from street to street. The Public Works Department strongly urges all residents to have brush to the curb by Tuesday, May 28 to make sure you are not missed.
- Collection will begin daily at 7:00 a.m.
- Brush must be stacked neatly at curbside for pick-up (even if it came off of a tree within the right-of-way).
- It should be placed parallel to the curb so it does not block the sidewalk or stick out into the street.
- Branches must be no longer than 8 feet in length (even if it came off of a tree within the right-of-way. 8 feet is the approximate length of the Public Works truck beds, branches longer than this will not fit in the trucks).
- Public Works must have clear access to the brush from the street. If there is a vehicle parked near the brush it will not be collected.
- The Public Works Department will start out picking up the smaller piles by hand and writing down the addresses of the larger piles to be picked up by equipment. Equipment pickup will be done prior to moving on to the next area.
- The Public Works Department will be picking up the bulk of the piles. The remaining small debris and raking of yards will be left up to the homeowner. Please follow Town and Country Disposal’s guidelines for your regular yard waste collection.
- Once a first pass is made through the entire city the Public Works Department will begin a second pass through the city. The City will send an updated email noticing when the second pass will begin.
- Due to Kansas Department of Health and Environment regulations residents may not deposit any waste in the Public Works dumpster. DO NOT take any brush to the Public Works facility. Brush from the storm is to be place curbside during the specified storm damage brush collection. If you miss the Public Works collection you must follow Town and Country Disposal’s guidelines for regular yard waste collection.
Prairie Village Public Works Acting Director Keith Bredehoeft said Prairie Village would not be holding a special collection or establishing a drop off location for brush. Prairie Village residents can put limbs and other yard waste from the storm out on their normal trash days, provided they put the limbs into four-foot long bundles.
A Prairie Village native’s proclivities for the study of Jewish languages has earned him a prestigious fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education.
Michael Lebovitz was one of two University of Kansas Jewish Studies students to earn the DOE’s Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships for this summer and the following school year. With support from the fellowship, Lebovitz will study Yiddish in a six-week program at the YIVO-Bard Institute Summer Language Program in New York.
“My grandparents spoke this language and I have a deep connection to Jewish history,” Lebovitz said in a statement released by the department. “I have always been very excited about learning about Jewish heritage and there is no better way to do that than to learn the language of European Jewry.”
In addition to the Yiddish language, Lebovitz will be studying Jewish history, literature, theater and food
The Shawnee Mission community had a chance to say goodbye to outgoing Superintendent Gene Johnson Tuesday and the SM West cafeteria was filled with friends, colleagues and community leaders.
Five people who taught with Johnson at his first school, McClure Elementary in Topeka in 1970, made the trip to the farewell reception and Johnson introduced his 26-year running partner during the reception, along with other long-time friends.
“One thing that hasn’t changed in the last 27 years (at Shawnee Mission) is our commitment to excellence,” Johnson told the crowd. “I am often asked, ‘how do we keep this going?” Tremendous support from other governments is part of the answer, Johnson said, noting Shawnee Mission serves 14 different cities – unusual for school districts.
We “focused on a theme of teamwork” five years ago, he said, at the time he took over the superintendent’s role. Johnson said he will walk away at 5:30 p.m. June 27. He will be replaced by Jim Hinson, currently superintendent in Independence.