Canton students pick up adult skills over the summer
Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 2:22 pm

From left are Benjamin Donaldson, Mary Lobdell, Noah Longshore, Gretchen Warner, Matthew Fent, Jude Smith, and William Jadlos

CANTON – Some fifth and sixth grade students learned about banking, building design and sales at a summer program sponsored and led by Ginger Thomas of Teacher?s Desk Consultants of DeKalb Junction.

In the program, held at St. Mary’s School, the kids set up mock savings, checking, and debit accounts, recorded transactions as they bought and sold snacks, made deposits and withdrawals to their accounts, and reconciled bank statements to add daily interest with materials donated by Matthew Fent from North Country Savings Bank, one of the mentors.

“It took only a few days before they decided to move most of their money into savings where it earned a higher rate of interest,” said Thomas.

The students also learned about building design and drafting blueprints from architect Rebecca Weld of Renew Architecture & Design. They particularly appreciated Weld showing drawings and design secrets for her award-winning gingerbread house based on an actual Potsdam building.

The youngsters then tackled designing clubhouses themselves. Canton Code Enforcement Officer Russell Lawrence talked about energy-efficient and fire-safe building construction with the young builders, who then built models of their clubhouse designs.

The week culminated with each child offering a sales pitch for their clubhouse, complete with figures detailing the exterior measurements and total square footage of their buildings as well as the cost of materials to build the clubhouse in actual size.