In any given day, MicroSociety successes occur in both big and small ways. These tales of triumph inspire us at the national office, and we hope that they inspire you too– to believe that when kids are empowered, the possibilities are limitless and boundless. A MicroSociety learning environment allows students to find their niche, to discover their comfort zone and experiment outside of it, to conquer obstacles, and to hone a deep sense of where they fit into the tapestry of humanity. MicroSociety students are critical thinkers and problem solvers, innovators and game changers, community heroes and global competitors. But don’t just take our word for it. Let their stories speak for themselves. See for yourself what it means to be a “Kid in Charge”. Tomorrow isn’t waiting. These children are embracing their future today.
The Manager's Special: Part 2
The next day, Max and Carlos were ready to start a revolution. They made their way around the restaurant, giving their speech to each individual employee. Some needed more convincing than others, but eventually, they got the majority of employees to agree they needed to confront Ana later that day.
The Manager's Special: Part 1
"Today was a really busy day at work," Max wrote in his journal. "But I only made eight Micro bucks."
He sighed and continued scribbling furiously. "Even if I save up for all three days I have to work this week, I won't make enough to buy the Manager's Special at my own restaurant."
He realized he was writing so hard that the pen was going right through the paper. He paused for a moment and took a deep breath. Read More
Maxed Out: Part 2
Back at the Peacekeeper Headquarters, the room was abuzz when one of its own insisted that a fifth grader needed to pay up. Liam was outraged that his fellow citizen was boasting about not paying his tickets, now 21 cited in two weeks time, an all-time record at the school. No siree, the Peacekeeper and the fifth grader were not seeing eye to eye since citations max out at 20 tickets. As soon as he walked in the door, they all turned to look.
"Guys," he said, taking advantage of the attention. "We gotta do something about this."
Maxed Out: Part 1
Hey, stop!" Liam spun around, hoping his voice sounded authoritative enough to keep a fellow fourth grader from trying to cut through the grass on the way to his classroom.
"Sorry, I forgot," the boy said sheepishly, stepping back onto the sidewalk.
Liam shrugged and put away his citation notebook, "it happens."Read More
An Experiment in Experiments
"This is so much fun," Gunnar's friend Maria whispered as she mixed together the substances they were using for their project.
Gunnar nodded as he snapped a few photos of Maria's mirror experiment. "I think everyone is going to like this one at the marketplace. But I think it'd be way more fun if they got to make the mirrors, too!" (Read more)
Girls in Charge of Finance
She could feel the sweat forming on her palms as her heart began to race. It was the same feeling she usually got when Ms. Brown asked her to read aloud in class.
"Sierra, did you hear me?" Ethan asked. "Our business needs a bookkeeper, and I heard you need a job. Will you do it?"
For a moment, the shy sixth grader was frozen in fear. But after looking up and seeing her classmate Ethan's eyes on her, she nodded slowly. (Read more)
Kids Live & Learn
"I get it, OK?" Jacob said, slamming his backpack on the table and rolling his eyes. "Why are you always yelling at me? Let's sell some chips or something."
Jackson was annoyed. How was he supposed to run a business if his employees weren't willing to help out? If only Jacob knew how difficult it was to manage the entire snack bar operation, maybe he'd think twice about talking back and being so rude. (Read more)
Kids on the Path to Democracy - Part 2
"Are you ready?" Matthew asked Kira as they approached the room where their party members were gathered.
When she walked in, she was almost overwhelmed. A buzzing room packed full of sixth, seventh and eighth graders began to cheer as they entered. (Read more)
Kids on the Path to Democracy - Part 1
"You're under arrest," Lucas said. "Did I say that right?" the seventh grade Peacekeeper whispered over his shoulder to a group of students standing behind him. They nodded.
"What? Why? You can't arrest me," the mayor cried. "I didn't do anything!" Her face twisted into a frown. "What is going on?" (Read more)
Which Way to Success?
"We've sold 56 maps since school started," the company's manager DJ pointed out while waving a rolled up paper in the air. "It was a good way to make money, but no wonder everybody knows their way around."
DJ put his hand to his chin and thought hard. "We need to work together to figure out an answer." (Read more)
Who's the Boss?
Your employees. The words sounded strange to Mia, but she figured it would sink in eventually. Maybe it'd be just like the time she was captain of her soccer team. She took a deep breath and began to speak.
"I just want to thank everyone for putting your trust in me. I have a lot of good ideas and I can't wait to work with you!" (Read more)
Ryan waited patiently for the Quality Control manager to check the rest of the frames and photo albums that his co-workers at the Cool Town Photo Studio had made. Out of the 11 finished products he placed in front of her, Riley had placed six in the 'rejection' bin. He knew he was about to get a lecture from the fifth grader. (Read more)
Kids in Charge of Academics
Clip, clop. Clip, clop. The sound of their heels hitting the linoleum floor echoed through the hallways of Garehime Elementary School. As they walked by in a tightly formed group, the kids around them scrambled to catch a glimpse.
Rock the Vote
Jordan surveyed the audience in the auditorium. As the 6th grade leader of this year's ConstitutionalConvention, it was his job to lead the assembly as they reviewed the school's governing Constitution page by page.
Kids on Strike
"I've been going over this week's articles, Gabriela," she said. "They're wonderful as usual. But I'm concerned about this story," she pointed to one page in particular.
Gaby nodded. she knew that the article would raise some eyebrows. One of her newest reporters, Tomas, had discovered that a large group of first graders were very upset because they weren't allowed to apply for a business license or open a Micro venture on their own. His article opposed this rule . . . (Read more)
A Healthy Serving of Confidence
On the first day of 4th grade at Cunningham Elementary, Neuryth did exactly what she had done on the first day of 3rd grade. And the first day of 2nd grade. And probably the first day of 1st grade too. Eyes cast downward, she slumped into a seat in the back corner of the classroom and fiddled with the string hanging from her shirtsleeve.
Imagine if I were invisble, she thought to herself, like that character in the book her teacher read aloud last year. If they couldn't see her, they wouldn't ever have to know her secret.(Read more)
Enjoy the Show
Bryan sighed as Mrs. Brown placed the paper on his desk. As he glanced up, he saw a big scribble at the top in his teacher's favorite purple pen. He read it aloud quietly:
"Please see me."
His friend Gunnar leaned over to tease him. "Uh oh, you're in trouuuble." (Read more)
An Unexpected Interview
Derek nervously folded and unfolded the letter several times as he walked up to the classroom door. Two days earlier, he had been fired from his stagehand job with the Chocachatti Micro Theater Group for missing five rehearsals.
He'd never been fired before. Feeling uneasy about starting a new job and meeting new people, he opened the letter again and read it for the seventh time that day. (Read more)
21st Century Solutions
In last week's Kids in Charge story, we shared a glimpse of the 21st century-savvy displayed recently by the students at Aspen Heights Elementary in Alberta, Canada.
This week, we are proud to share an example of the 21st Century solutions that the student-citizens of Aspen Heights have developed to streamline their society. Check it out!(Read more)
21st Century Solutions
"This isn't right," Saige said as she peered at the paper on the desk in front of her. She grabbed her pencil and began to erase the numbers. "Let me help you fix it."
Her fellow third-grade student standing in front of her was embarrassed. "I'm so sorry. I keep forgetting how to fill out these deposit slips." (Read more)
Chamber of Progress
It was the first ever MicroSociety Chamber of Commerce meeting at Imagine Columbia Leadership Academy, and 5th grader Nikea was nervous. As the newly elected President, she was picked to preside over the afternoon's activities - and there certainly was a lot of work to be done. (Read more)
Ethan grimaced as he punched the numbers into the calculator.
"We are over budget," he said with a sigh. "Way over budget."
"Seriously?" Paola asked, her usual optimistic tone fading. "Maybe you should check again, just to be sure." (Read more)
Behind the Scenes
*Click* Stanley turned off the TV "Well folks, what do you think?"
Stanley was addressing his staff. All the employees at the 21st Century Digital Media Center sat huddled around the television screen watching their latest news interviews.(Read more)
"Who wants to buy a pom pom?" Kip called out as he waved the homemade fabric ball wildly through the air.
He locked eyes with a fourth grade girl and she quickly responded. "No thanks, I have one already, I don't really need another one."
Kip sighed. He'd heard that quite a bit lately. (Read more)
Division of Labor
"I want to return these flashcards. I lost the receipt, but I want my money back!" a frustrated fourth grader pleaded with the clerk at Strattonville Math Games.
"I'm sorry, but we have a policy, so I can't give you your money back without a receipt. You can trade in those cards for something else, though. We have all kinds of games and puzzles and--" (Read more)
The Art of Success
As his classmates gathered around a table discussing next month's Micro newsletter, Mauricio sat at his desk with one hand on his chin, the other twirling a pencil.
"Mauricio," Mrs. Collette tapped his shoulder. "Are you sure you don't want to join the newsletter committee? You'll earn money to spend in the marketplace - you'll be able to buy anything you want."He looked back at her with an air of indifference. (Read more)
Four Girls For Families: A Cambodian Collaboration
It all started when Rae and Emmy came back from a family trip to Cambodia, touched by the life and kindness they saw in orphaned children who lived in poverty there. Showing their trip photos to their friends, Maddie and Clara, the four decided they wanted to help the orphans and planned on donating money. Upon further research however, they found that government corruption would likely prevent the money from reaching the orphanage. So - like any MicroSociety students worth their salt, they problem solved. (Read more)
A License to Lemon Part 2: Leos Losses Recovered
Continued from Last Week:
After starting a printing business and earning enough micros to buy his brother a present, Leo was more determined than ever to apprehend the criminal. His public pleas for the thief to turn him or herself in had failed. So Leo turned to Micro Peacekeepers Angelo and Addison to help solve the crime. (Read more)
A License to Lemon
Leo reached in his pocket for the wallet stuffed with money and realized it wasn't there. "I left my money in my backpack, I'll be right back! But when he returned to the spot where he'd left his bag, something was wrong. The front zipper was partly open, and the wallet he'd stashed away was nowhere to be found. "Someone stole my money!"
Prime Minister Jordan
As Jordan stood on the stage, he stared at the floor and thought about what he had told people during his campaign. Then and there he vowed to deliver on every promise he made - starting with taxes. Around the halls, students were buzzing - whispering about their new leader. "Can you believe he's actually going to lower taxes?" "Nah, typical Jordan. He was just saying that to get elected!" (Read more)
Bus Line Legislation
Wednesday morning, Clay and his classmates were called down to the cafeteria for a school-wide assembly, where the new rules about getting on the school bus were announced - everyone would now have to board from the front.
"This isn't fair!" he complained to his friend Malcolm. "Now we'll never get to sit together at the back! (Read more)
Genie in a Bottle
Mr. Ramsey and Shaun went off to the main office and checked about applying for a patent. The workers of Genie Bottles, Inc. waited, huddled around the meeting table in suspense, leaning towards each other predicting the outcome of their patent application. Eventually, Shaun and Mr. Ramsey returned, both with smiles on their faces. (Read more)
No Funny Money
One day, after cashing his paycheck and receiving a freshly counted bundle of Micro bills, Sam had a strange thought. He leaned over to the teller, his classmate Shauna. "I never really looked closely at the Micro money," he said as he examined the thin pieces of paper neatly cut into rectangular shapes."You could make it yourself, with a copy machine and scissors," Sam said, as a worried look spread across his face. (Read more)
A Sonic Shift: From Classroom Clown to Magnificent Mailman
"If there's one thing that can be counted on at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Elementary School, it's the mail. Neither rain, nor snow, nor science homework can keep Cory and his fellow postal workers from doing their jobs.
But it wasn't always that way. Just weeks before, Cory hadn't been delivering Mr. Miller's mail, he'd been arguing with him! ." (Read more)
A Multicultural Motivation
"Unbeknownst to her teacher, this six year-old led a double life. In the classroom she was shy and unengaged. But whenever Micro time began, Gabriella slung her hair into a pony tail, a look of determination dancing in her brown eyes, and she set to work." (Read more)
Harold's Hundred Dollar Rug
After several weeks working as a teller at Bobcat City Bank, the shy fifth grader had managed to save every penny of his salary - which added up to $100 Bobcats. He proudly handed over his hard-earned cash in exchange for the rug, leaving Jenny speechless. His other classmates gathered around, eager to find out what Harold had finally spent his money on. (Read more)
Mustafa's MED Week Misadventure
Mustafa wasn't ready to give up. Driven by ambition to succeed, he shouted louder, causing the sea of Micro citizens to fear some sort of nacho related emergency. Though he received only odd glances at first, once the words he had spoken registered (and it was confirmed that he wasn't, in fact, shouting about a cheddar catastrophe), an influx of Micro kids rushed the nacho stand. He sold out that day. (Read more)
A Day in the Life of a MicroSociety Intern: MED Week Reflection
Last week, I felt envy toward a 6th grader. Now before you wonder why a college student would be jealous of a child, I will tell you that it lasted for about a minute before it turned to awe. With 45 minutes of training, one yellow school bus, and twenty boxed lunches to fuel them, a group of 8-14 year old Micro Citizens from South Philly's Andrew Jackson Elementary learned about, launched and made an impressive profit margin on a variety of business ventures. All inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center. (Read more)
Giving Taxpayers A Square Deal
Alex sat slumped down in his chair, picking at a loose thread on his shirtsleeve. Thinking about how his mom would scold him for such a thing, he stopped, sitting up straighter in his chair. Inducted into the Legislature just weeks ago, he now questioned his decision to run. Everyone said he was a leader, but he wasn't so sure. Especially if leading meant speaking. His moves on the basketball court had gotten him elected, but no amount of dribbling could help him now. (Read more)
Small Business 102: The Tale of Two Colombian Entrepreneurs Continues
Ana Maria and Paula were millionaires. Make that multi-millionaires. Thanks to their co-owned venture, Fashion Runway, they held more Micros than anyone in their Pre-K through Grade 12 MicroSociety. It was quite possible that they held more Micros than any citizen in any MicroSociety ever had. Which was enough to paint smug smiles on their faces. As their fellow citizens at Colegio San Juan del Camino scurried around campus, the duo sat on a bench in the lobby. They had everything they needed. (Read more)
A Campaign for Change
"If selected as your MicroSociety president this year, I will make this YOUR society. I will listen and hear your voices. I will make the changes that you want to see. I will leave this place better than I found it. I promise I will not let you down." 8th grade Ben paused to take a sip of water. He almost started laughing as he pictured President Obama onstage with dry lips. Like he often had to do in class or in church, he pinched his leg to stop. Luckily, it worked. (Read more)
One Small Step
He saved their school. Single-handedly...well with four paws to be precise. Niko, a German Shepherd member of the McHenry Country police force took down a weekend would-be burglar. On Monday, the MicroSociety; citizens and their facilitators gathered for a Town Hall meeting to address their incident-related concerns. And separate fact from fiction. Some of them had seen the flashing lights of patrol cars outside of the school. Others had heard the reports on the local news. (Read more)
He typed three words and backspaced two. Squinted at the screen. Read what he wrote. Typed four more words, whispered them to himself, and backed up two. He was always particular about what he wrote. It was his job. But this piece required even more precision than usual. Reaching into the pocket of his khakis, he rubbed his lucky rabbit foot. Wasn't real fur. No way. He bought it in the Marketplace of his Texas MicroSociety 2 years ago. It wasn't nearly as soft as it used to be. Because it had given him lots of luck. (Read more)
Designs on Their Future
Until it was time to approach Sra. Bermudez, the principal of their school. Accordion folders in hand, they knocked on her door. Paula glanced at her watch. 5 minutes early for their appointment. "Vengan," they heard, and so enter, they did. "We are here today to propose an idea for you," Ana Maria began their elevator pitch. "There is no personality in the uniforms we wear now. We are special. We are a MicroSociety school. What we wear needs to show that." (Read more)
Wake Up Call
Some hands shot up. Others lingered halfway. Unsure of whether they wanted to risk a response. Oscar simply called out. Head still perched on its wooden pillow. "Sleeping," he yelled. "Oh yeah, and being lazy."A few nervous laughs followed along with some less reluctant ones. Ms. Carter nodded. A comedian in the bunch. But she didn't dismiss him. Or reprimand him. Or lose faith that he had a spark in him waiting to ignite. (Read more)
Alumni in Charge
One day I was withdrawing money for a customer and accidentally brought him the wrong amount. "What are you, seven?" the older boy taunted. Second graders weren't normally able to leave their homeroom but I was in a 2/3 split class and my teacher had gotten special permission for the younger half of her class to enter the workforce early. "Yeah." I replied. He looked surprised. I proceeded to teach him how to fill out his checkbook. (Read more)
The Challenges of a CEO
By the time, Oswaldo made his way to Dariana, he was no longer needed. "Yasmine told me that racers who were late will have to wait until the next rally to sign up."
When he approached Miguel to find out if he had developed advertising to get a crowd to watch the race, Miguel waved him away, "The posters are already hanging. Yasmine approved them." (Read more)
Citizenship: When Does the Conscience End and the Law Begin?
He hadn't meant to say it. It was one of those things that kind of just rolled off of Dominic's tongue. Before he could stop it. It wasn't the first time. When he was in 2nd grade he told Emmy that her curls looked like noodles. He thought that was a cool thing. Her rolling tears said she clearly didn't. In 3rd grade, he told Miguel, his best friend, that his breath smelled like Doritos. Come on, there are far worse things for one's breath to smell like. (Read more)
We Find These Truths to Be Self Evident
It came. The big yellow envelope was waiting in her homeroom mailbox when she arrived on Tuesday morning. Thank goodness. Hannah, halfway through the 6th grade, gingerly touched the bold markered letters on its front. Professor Hannah Zimmer. Repeating the words in a soft whisper, she couldn't help but smile. (Read more)
A Five Finger Discount
He had them at "cool". When Nicolas, a 10th grade entrepreneur whispered, "¡Que chévere!" (how cool) it would be to sneak him some dinero from the bank vault, the trio of 3rd grade citizens from Colombia's Colegio San Juan Camino readily agreed. Nicolas was an upper school student, after all. They certainly weren't going to miss out on the opportunity to be his amigos. (Read more)
In the Defense of Intellectual Property
"Look, I hate to break the news to you guys, but I don't think we'll be needing you for the shop after all." Nathan nervously looked to Tate, another owner, for back-up.
"Sorry," was Tate's only response, hands deep in his pockets.
Elliott could feel the tears welling in his eyes. But he couldn't...wouldn't cry in front of them.(Read more)
Little Kids in Charge
The air in Room 3 hung heavy with tension. 5th grade Carter had just let the cat out of the bag. It was only a matter of time before the others were going to have to come clean as well. Dionne shot him the look of all looks. Her eyes imploring, "Why'd you have to go and fess up?"Why did he? For a split second he wondered the same thing. Then stopped wondering. Because he was taught to tell the truth. Even when it wasn't easy. (Read more)
The First Corporate Democracy
The old saying goes that great minds think alike. In this case, it just so happened that they were named alike too. Seated in front of Mr. Levensohn, the MicroSociety coordinator, their faces wore masks of concern. "We made a mistake," declared Cory #1, who often went by the moniker, C.J. To make things easier. "Well, not 'we' as in just us two, "quickly added Cory #2. "We, as in the whole society." Mr. Levensohn's nod told them to proceed. (Read more)
Excitedly coming in from her day at school, 4th grade Tanya threw her bookbag to the floor, "Mama, I have a job. I was hired by the Court as a reporter." Her glowing smile told the tale of pride better than mere words ever could. At first uncomfortable by the unfamiliar world of work, with each day's stories, Sylvia warmed to the idea. So much so that when the school called for parent volunteers, Sylvia's form was one of the first to reach the office. (Read more)
Checkbook Balancing Act
Gabby, a 6th grader with spunk, had always wanted to use the gloved and bejeweled pointer that her facilitator kept perched on the ledge of the classroom whiteboard. And now was the perfect opportunity. All sixteen wide eyes of the bank's employees were fixed on it as she pointed its index finger to a glaring figure during their mid-week business meeting. "35 citizens have bounced checks," she declared. "That is nearly 1/5 of our society trying to use money that they don't have." (Read more)
A True Masterpiece
Hayley clearly saw the bottom line. If business didn't pick up, the Art Design studio was out. The way things were going she would never be able to pay rent, utilities, and her employee's wages. Gingerly picking up a drawing from the sales table, she looked closely. With intention. It was clear that the house was drawn quickly. Almost hastily. In fact, one of the windows was paneless; an obvious departure from the other 3. "Kyle, what is your honest opinion of our merchandise?" she questioned. (Read more)
With Justice for All
Early on in their MicroSociety lessons, the citizens of Harborville had discussed needs versus wants. And the employees of the Task Force were certain that new uniforms were a need. "When I try to stop people in the hall to make sure they have a hall pass, they just breeze right by me," griped Neveah. "That's why my citations are down this month. Not because there are no violations. Citizens are speeding, gum chewing, and getting rowdy. I just get ignored." She threw her arms up in frustration. (Read more)
Butterflies Take Flight
Midway through the week, Ms. Morris got a funny feeling. The kind that speaks to you and tells you to act upon it. The air seemed unmoving in her home. She worried about the conditions where the butterflies were. Her arrival at school confirmed the worst. Life threatening conditions for the fragile flyers. Save a few, they had all either perished or suffered wing loss. Ms. M. felt tears well in her lower lids as she looked at the file box of adoption papers. (Read more)
A Small Society Achieving Big Things
There was an unusual hush that had taken over the monthly Town Hall meeting. Notably absent were the energized voices of citizens raising their concerns and sharing their innovations. Instead, as 7th grade President, Aaron, scanned the room, he saw dozens of downcast citizens with their eyes fixed on the ground. He held up the local newspaper, emblazoned with the headline, "Thank You, Readers, for a Wonderful Run." (Read more)
Your Reputation is Priceless
About to take the stand in her own trial, seventh grade Rebekah mulled over the events that brought her to court. Seriously, it had all seemed like the perfect plan, beginning with her sighting of the "Help Wanted" sign soliciting a bookkeeper for the Pampered Pets venture. She was just plain sick and tired of working as a server for the restaurant in her Ohio MicroSociety. (Read more)
It was a journalist's dream. Putting on his reporter's visor and badge, arming himself with his black steno pad, 4th grader Jacob couldn't believe his luck. He had the opportunity to do something big. To expose what was really going on with the Myersville Senators. The inside scoop, as they called it. There was a pit the size of a watermelon in his stomach.(Read more)
Turning Setbacks Into Opportunities
Standing before his employees, all seated around the rectangular table for their Monday business meeting, 4th grade manager, Malcolm, shrugged his shoulders. "I don't get it," he declared. Scratching his cropped hair, he pointed at the graph that his bookkeeper had prepared. "We haven't sold a single duct tape change purse." (Read more)
The Business of Caring
We have all heard the adage that it takes a village to raise a child, but its converse is also true. The student citizens of Scottie Land, Sageland Elementary's MicroSociety, have proven that children have the power to raise a community, even in the midst of tragedy.(Read more)
Listening to Your Employees is Good Business
It was in the checkout line of the Publix on a food shopping errand with Dad that an entrepreneurial vision first sprang in fifth grade Jordan's mind. He watched the line of kids in front of the quarter machines with intent interest. There was just something about those machines that beckoned for change. (Read more)
Health is Good Business
White hat resting comfortably atop his dark braids, Sabian had all the swagger and confidence of an Iron Chef. "To get your pancakes to come out the same size," he shared his secret "all you have to do is use an ice cream scoop." Looking at his restaurant patrons, he shrugged his shoulders, then flipped another perfectly round flapjack. "Nothing to it." Talking and cooking at the same time wasn't as easy as he thought it would be, but he had yet to burn a pancake in the process. (Read more)
A Star is Born
Everyone said 6th grader Cheyenne was destined for stardom. Whenever her teachers wanted to perform a skit, Cheyenne was the first choice. But, to be quite honest, it bothered Chey. She loved being good at something, but she didn't want it to be the only thing she could do. What if she hurt herself? What if her teachers, or worse, the audience didn't like her performance someday? (Read more)
Turning a Crisis Around
Gathered around the table for their weekly business meeting, the employees of Scottie Glee-ater, the entertainment venture in Sageland Elementary's MicroSociety, were facing their first financial crisis. Their annual loan packet was due to the credit union in an hour and they were more than just a few Micro dollars short. "Look, we need to figure out how much we need to hold us over for at least two pay periods." (Read more)
MicroSociety Reaches Children's Hospital in Kenya
At the stroke of midnight on the first of January, the brilliant Times Square ball descends, signifying the birth of a new year, a time to renew, reinvent, and reenergize. As the confetti swirls through the air, there's something else afloat with it--Hope. Hope that no matter how fulfilling last year was, the year ahead might shine brighter. Hope that whatever might have went wrong could be made right in the days to come. (Read more)
Time For A Change
Jeremiah was a bully. And he knew it. The fiery look in his eye proved it. Everyone was always telling him that he was "so mean". Mean. Mean. Mean. It's all he heard. He didn't try to be. But their words reminded him that he had to live up to the label. And as a frequent flyer in the principal's office, live up to it he did. Most of the time for picking on someone for something. (Read more)
'Twas the Night Before a MicroSociety Holiday
Twas the night before a Micro Holiday and all through the school Not a citizen was stirring, not a single worry about rules. The PeaceKeepers' vests were hung neatly on hooks, The Reading Industry was closed, neatly stacked were their books. (Read more)
Signed, Sealed, and Delivered
Somebody at the Imagine Penn Hills Post Office had helped themselves to a five finger discount. They had a burglar, a thief, a regular sticky-fingers, in their midst. However you said it, the situation was the same and money was missing! "Uh oh," declared Lily, the 2nd grade manager of the Postal Agency, her face a mask of concern. (Read more)
Count Me In
Kiana used to like the beauty shop way better than school. Her mother's weekly appointments were always the highlight of her week. She much preferred counting the minutes pass by on the shop's clock than she did counting the angles and sides in one of those quadrangle-thingies in math class. So pointless. That was before MicroSociety.(Read more)
A Song of Thanks for this Season of Giving
We thank you, our educational leaders, who see school as the port of embarkation for a learning journey to the future. It is because of your staunch commitment that this generation of children are becoming innovators and game changers, creative problem solvers and critical thinkers, advocates and pioneers. (Read more)
Show Me The Money
Billy, a wiry 3rd grader had done the unthinkable. After brushing the leftover crumbs from his stained shirt to the floor, he said the word "stupid" to a grown-up. And not just any grown-up. The President and co-founder of MicroSociety. In a business meeting, no less. One would have thought that the air had been let out of the room as the adults sat stock-still, waiting to see what Ms. Richmond would do. (Read more)
A true entrepreneur uncovers opportunity. For Christopher, a third grader at Aspen Heights, when opportunity knocked on his favorite FM channel, he answered the door. As he drove home with Mom from a busy day of work at his photo-button venture, the banter of his favorite radio hosts awoke him from backseat window watching. "We really need 95.5 buttons to wear when we attend the Canadian Country Music Awards next week. Come on listening audience, help us out!" (Read more)
Big Strides in the Micro Marketplace
"That's a really cool thingy, Corey. What is it?" asked Sara. "It's a paperweight," he answered. "It's five dollars." Sara examined the fascinating seashell, her mind already made up. She seemed to take a special liking to Corey too. Her eyes lit up when he spoke to her. She had no idea he was autistic, or even what that meant. (Read more)
A Flash of Genious
Inspiration can come from the funniest of places. For Sabina, it was raisins. "Ms. DeMarco," Sabina looked earnestly to her kindergarten teacher, "Do you remember those costumes we used for last month's play, Heard it Through the Grapevine? Could I rent them from you?" (Read more)
Charging a teacher with theft was a MicroSociety first. And Rex knew he had to be on his "A Game." Before knocking on the classroom door, the C.G. McDonough City Magnet School 2nd grader straightened his Peace Keeper badge, smoothed his collar, and cleared his throat. He was on official business after all and wanted to seem, well, official. (Read more)
High Apple Pie In The Sky Hopes
Seventh grader Hunter Eider thought big. Real big. But at the same time he knew that lofty goals must be achieved through small steps. Clearly evident when interviewed by the Renway Spectacle, "President Eider, we hear you are planning on running for a second term," started Cara, their top (and toughest) columnist. (Read more)
Time to Shine
Ariel didn't know that she was in the market for a new job. It was the sparkle of the sequins and the persuasion of Sasha, a performer with Explosive Expressions, Wilson Middle School MicroSociety's dance and theatre venture that told her so. (Read more)
Government Was Her Destiny
For the second time in a month, 5th grader Destiny was out of work. And it wasn't the recession. In fact the economy in Elizabeth Starr Entrepreneurial Academy's MicroSociety was thriving. It wasn't lack of opportunity either. The job posting website was chock full of open positions. It was Destiny's mouth. She was a regular chatterbox. (Read more)
Shania Finds Her Answer
It came as a surprise when Shania called an urgent meeting for her employees at the Science Museum of Natural Fun, the MicroSociety venture she managed at her Girls Inc. Sarasota after-school site. A nervous hush took over the workplace as worry filled the minds of the employees. In her time as manager, Shania had never called a meeting before. And an urgent one? (Read more)
Putting Sammy on a Pedestal
"PAY YOUR TAXES, PEOPLE!" Third grader, Sammy, barked right in Kyle's face. Even though Kyle was significantly taller and stronger and older. . . and the richest entrepreneur at Farrell Elementary MicroSociety School, Sammy persisted. "Do you hear me?" A few onlookers giggled nervously. (Read more)
Viva Las Vegas: A Lesson in City Planning
"We have a broken water fountain here," reported 10-year old Tyler to the Las Vegas Department of Parks and Recreation, pacing the room, phone on his ear, as he awaited promise of action. Ty was the director of Garehime Heights' Parks and Recreation Agency, located across the street from the park, inside Garehime MicroSociety Elementary School. "With this heat, having no water is simply unacceptable." (Read more)
You Snooze, You Lose: Demand for Quality
Malik had ended up in Ms. Earle's office, AKA the unemployment office. AGAIN. It wasn't the first time. This time his manager, third grader J.J., had let him go for lack of productivity. Malik was caught with his head on the counter of the keychain venture he worked for during Marketplace time at Joseph Keels Elementary, his MicroSociety school. Instead of counting the SELs from sales, he was counting his sheep. (Read more)
Adam Takes the Road Less Traveled
There was a time when Adam couldn't be charged with human transports -too overwhelming-- bringing goods to and from the warehouse in the wagon was enough. For a long while, Adam needed Bella, his aide, to accompany him on every one of his trips. But he didn't need Bella anymore. He had his customers. Paying ones! (Read more)
Student Entrepreneur Hires Not-So-Undercover Boss
"You need to go to the manager or owner with that. I am an employee, just like you," said the duct tape wallet maker. He wished everyone would stop coming to him with questions. But then again, he was the biggest, oldest, coolest, and by far, the most overqualified employee in the entire MicroSociety village. He was Mr. Sternberg, the principal of Imagine South Vero MicroSociety school. How on Earth did that happen? (Read more)
An Autism Breakthrough
"Colby, I need you to start finding facts on the dangers of heating plastics," Maya, the 4th grade manager of the Science Spot Laboratory, asked one of her top peer researchers. He nodded in agreement and started typing. "Colby," Becky started again, "Can you do that for me? The news has been all over this topic." "Yep," he replied. Becky smiled. This was progress. (Read more)
Triumph and a Venus Fly Trap
Being bipolar, it was expected for kindergartener Jace's mood to swing. Meltdowns and temper tantrums weren't uncommon. However, no one including Mrs. Sumter, the principal, at his Las Vegas MicroSociety school, expected him to take a swing at a pregnant teacher. Now, Jace sat in Mrs. Sumter's office, after a long talk about expectations and his action. He needed to "control himself," she said...they all said. (Read more)
Serge Dads and Grads
"This June, I'm going to buy this business from my teacher," Serge proudly informed the school board member at Bring Your Parent to Work Night, Barkley MicroSociety Magnet School's annual fundraiser. He glanced over at his father to see if he was listening, as he hatched his master plan. (Read more)
Honey Club Quality Control Board
The line at Bank of Keels was ridiculously long. MicroSociety students had places to go, things to do, people to see. Waiting for an available teller was a real waste of time. Fifth grader, Elijah Sims, decided to take matters in his own hands. While he couldn't change the lines, he could change the lives of those who waited in them. (Read more)
The Bug Hangout
All it took was ants, marching through the MicroSociety Munchroom at Maximo Elementary for kindergartner Marisa Fountanez to hatch a vision; a business devoted to bugs. The shrieked "EWW's!" of her fellow diners, as the ants made their way across the lunchroom floor just plain annoyed her. (Read more)
Employing Kindergartners: A Win-Win
Sunday was Mother's Day, and business was booming. A huge batch of greeting cards had to get out and Sweet Notes Greetings never missed a deadline. Cameron made sure of that. He didn't think of it as bossy, he just had a job to do and he wanted to do it right at all costs. (Read more)
From Doodler to Cartoonist
Yevan is finishing up his political cartoon representing the plight to put calorie counts on the packaging of fast food items. All the while he's thinking about his loyal audience of 4th-8th graders and the next issue of "Clark Barker", the venture he works for in his MicroSociety School. (Read more)
A Case of Peer Pressure
Darrell wiped his sweaty palms on his pants and reached inside his pocket for his crumbled closing argument. He was on trial for theft by deception. Rewind. Just over a week ago, he wrote his first bad check. "They'll never know the difference," his friend Ramon bragged, "I do it all the time." (Read more)
The Spaghetti Dinner
"I'm experimenting with substitution." Yinka winks. She's about to reveal her secret ingredient for a chicken tarragon salad sandwich. "Yogurt instead of mayonnaise! That's the trick." She dips her finger into the yogurt. "It's just healthier... and oh so delicious." It's great being executive chef, she decides. (Read more)
It all started when a presidential debate sparked in the classroom at one MicroSociety school. One outspoken student citizen stood up and asked, "What do y'all think about building a sandbox on the playground?" "Yeah!" the others cheered. And therein lie the beginnings of what would forever become known as Operation Sandbox. (Read more)
Engineering is Elementary
"We'll be adding landscaping next," announced Andrew. The second grade architect barely took his eyes off his latest LEGO® design. These 3rd and 4th graders take playing with LEGOs to a whole new level. It's just one facet of Visionary Architecture, a business venture at Eugenio Maria de Hostos MicroSociety School. (Read more)
Hugo: Banker Extraordinaire
Hi everyone! My name is Hugo and I am from Baton Rouge, LA. Guess what kind of cool job I have at my MicroSociety school? I am the Banker. That is a really important job for a five year old like me. I want to tell you the story of how I got to be where I am today. (Read more)
Emma Fabec: A True Leader
Emma has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism. So taking risks has not come easy for her. Many children struggle to fit in, but Emma faced an even greater challenge. She was filled with anxiety and struggled to overcome social isolation. "I feel like a freak...I know I'm different," she would say. "I'm the only one with Asperger's." She shared few common interests with other girls and avoided social interactions at all costs. (Read more)
Lil’ Duggy’s Bike Shop
Lil' Duggy's Bike Shop is up and pedaling thanks to Shelby Ford, a fifth grader with a passion for bicycles. Shelby's business idea started inside the walls of Indian Trail Elementary, a MicroSociety school in Louisville, KY. The young entrepreneur had a passion, saw a need, and like any self respecting entrepreneur decided to launch a business. (Read more)