THE YOUNG CONSUMER PROGRAM has completed fourteen years of community-based education involving children, parents, educators, local businesses, government, and community service groups. ShopRite supermarkets have been the primary source in sponsoring the program. The Wakefern/ShopRite Corporation has trained their human resource associates to interact with parents, students and other businesses at the local level in delivering the Young Consumer Program.
ShopRite associates along with two educational consultants, Howard Herbert and Steve Megna, offer PTA’s, school boards, and principals an invitation to participate. Several visits are scheduled to prepare students, teachers, parents, and other stake-holders for the culminating activity at the local supermarket. The academic component of the program includes items from State assessment programs at grades 3, 4 and 5 modeled from recent testing programs in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania. This approach provides learners with a hands-on, minds-on team effort to sharpen skills in language, mathematics, science, social studies and health.
This approach also assists parents and community participants understanding the changes to school curricula based on best educational practices and brain research. The involvement of community-based education is supported by the research. The home and community environment determines the minds/brain development of a young learner more than the time learners spend in school. Schools depend on home and community to send the children to school ready to learn. The ShopRite Young Consumer Program wants to assist parents in making sure their children are ready to learn by transforming the community into a community of learners outside the classroom walls.
The Young Consumer Program is designed to encourage parents and community partners to be actively involved in providing a program that supports schools but not reliant on the school. The Young Consumer Program is a community driven program, not a school driven program. This hands-on approach optimistically changes behavior and action on the part of the home and community environment. This program is a beginning that encourages involvement in the education of our children. Nothing is more important.